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25

T H U R S D A Y

Jean “Stevie” Stevenson, high-school heroine of April Sinclair’s Coffee Will Make You Black, keeps on coming of age in Ain’t Gonna Be the Same Fool Twice. After a too-zippy summary of her early-’70s college years and small-town black/white tensions, Stevie goes on vacation to San Francisco and stays there for good. Snappy slang expressions decorate every page, from a grandmother’s bawdy “if he cain’t cut the mustard, he kin least lick the jar!” to an unwashed hippie who Stevie calls “overdrawn at the funk bank.” But the author’s ear for dialogue doesn’t conceal the story’s superficiality: Stevie’s easy transition from Chicago city kid to minority-scholarship undergrad to West Coast lesbian-feminist is awfully abrupt. Bay Area resident Sinclair reads at 6 p.m. at Vertigo, 1337 Connecticut Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 429-9272. (NodB)