Title: Imperfect Enjoyment
Author: Dewan Gibson
Published: Irc Books 2008
Sypnosis: When college instructor Dewan Gibson leaves Cleveland for California, he expects to find a world of breast implants, beer and beaches. Instead he enters a secret and ill-fated romance with a Middle Eastern undergraduate. In this vivid and humorous memoir, Gibson describes his attempts to overcome his forbidden love affair by jumping into an office fling gone wrong (Tijuana Mornings), traveling across the world to Denmark in hopes of meeting “Ms. Booty Mama” (Arhus Ain’t for Lovers) and musing over the interracial relationships between his African-American uncles and “rural white women that wore 1980’s big bangs and resembled Guns N’ Roses groupies” (Too Much Tupac). Toeing the line between stable adulthood and post-college debauchery, Gibson presents a comically honest look at the frailty of modern relationships. Poignant, witty and at times downright hilarious– The Imperfect Enjoyment is a story of toxic relationships and the search for a second chance at love that enlightens and amuses as very few books do
Status: Read from April 14 to 15, 2011 — I own a copy
It’s a unique perspective, an unapologetic and honest viewpoint of sex and relationships from a young African American man. Despite his intention to take advantage of the casual one night conquests on offer, Dewan finds himself in a committed but complicated relationship with a young Arab woman, Haniyah. The relationship is beset by obstacles, not the least being Haniyah’s prejudiced family and the issues surrounding interracial and interfaith dating. Dewan genuinely describes his feelings of love and betrayal as this significant relationship develops and then collapses under the strain of separation and familial disapproval. His heartbreak sends him back into the world of ‘bootylicious’ babes and lusty encounters with an assortment of sexually confident women, before finally uttering the ‘L’ word.
The tone is light and humorous and the language explicit and sometimes confronting. Gibson uses a conversational style with liberal use of the cultural vernacular, but it’s well written and edited. Even though I found this short novel easy to read, it hasn’t any real direction, it’s closer to a collection of anecdotes than a traditional story format.
Personally, my experience in terms of culture and maturity, is too far removed from Gibson’s to really relate to his story, and that affected my connection to the book. I thought it mildly amusing but didn’t find any particular value in it. Even though this book didn’t quite work for me, I think that Imperfect Enjoyment would have particular appeal and relevance to post college urban American youth for it’s raw voice of experience and sharp and funny observations of love, lust and commitment in the ‘naughties’.
Dewan Gibson is the author of The Imperfect Enjoyment. He lives in San Diego and enjoys singing “Fair Eastside High” in the bathroom of his local inner-city high school. Dewan has written for the International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Defenstration, FreshXpress and Naked With Socks On. The screenplay rights to The Imperfect Enjoyment were recently purchased by a Hollywood comedian of low moral character. The project may never see the light of day. Dewan blogs daily at www.imperfectenjoyment.com and can be found at twitter.com/dewangibson.
is available to purchase