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Swirling: How to Date, Mate, and Relate Mixing Race, Culture, and Creed Paperback – May 15, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


In Swirling, Christelyn Karazin and Janice Littlejohn perform a vital service. Their insightful discussion is both in your face and disarming. A much needed contribution to our national conversation about race and relationships. --Ralph Richard Banks, Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and the author of Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone

“Wisely written . . . . smart, conversational and honest.” --Mekeisha Madden Toby, The Detroit News

"What an important and timely topic! Karazin and Littlejohn's warm conversational style sets the perfect tone for women in interracial and intercultural relationships who are seeking practical advice and support." --Linda R. Young, PhD, psychologist and blogger for Psychology Today

“A welcome, heart-felt primer on what African-American women can and should do better prepare themselves for the challenges, frustrations as well as the possibilities and hopes in the turbulent world of relationships. It's a book whose time has more than come.” --Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Nationally syndicated columnist, author and social commentator

“Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn and Christelyn D. Karazin bring a refreshing perspective to this hotly debated and newsworthy topic -- they also have the journalistic mettle and personal experience and humor to pull off a book that is both entertaining and informational . . . . a must-read.” --Brian Lowry, Variety Chief Television Critic

“This surprising and oh-so-timely book should be considered essential reading for any woman who feels rudderless when it comes to finding a soul mate . . . . smartly researched and eye-opening.” --John Griffiths, Us Weekly Television Critic

After nearly 20 years in an interracial marriage, the one thing I've learned is that black folks often have more hang-ups about these kinds of relationships than anyone else. And if anyone can help us all sort through the nonsense, problems and preconceptions, it is Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn, one of the smartest, most empathetic writers I know. I only hope she starts on a book for black men next!” --Eric Deggans, TV/Media Critic, St. Petersburg Times

“A breath of fresh air.” --Cherilyn “CW” Smith, popular blogger and author of Black Women Deserve Better

Couldn’t come at a better time." --Lecia J. Brooks Director, Civil Rights Memorial Center, Southern Poverty Law Center

"This book is critically important in our time to help foster a more open dialogue about interracial dating & marriages. I enjoyed it thoroughly and I highly recommend it to everyone. What a great read!" —Sophia A. Nelson, award winning Author & columnist for NBC's & Essence Magazine

About the Author

Christelyn D. Karazin is a columnist for Madame Noir and a health, lifestyle, business, and education writer for such high-profile publications as Woman’s Day, Better Homes & Gardens, and many more. She lives in California and runs the popular blog
Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn has had a diverse twenty-year career as a journalist, with writing appearing in several publications, including USA TODAY, Essence, and Vibe. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Original edition (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451625855
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451625851
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christelyn Denise Karazin is a health, lifestyle, business and education writer for such high-profile publications as Woman's Day, Better Homes & Gardens, Ebony/, Pregnancy Magazine, Reuters News Service and many more.

Prior to magazine writing, she was a public relations professional who specialized in consumer and legal public relations, and represented such clients as Jenny McCarthy and Dr. Jay Gordon in their co-project regarding vaccinations, resulting in a prime placement on Larry King Live Show. Karazin has over ten years experience placing clients in television, radio, online and print publications, and has an uncanny talent for finding timely news angles to give her clients maximum exposure.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, cum laude, from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Karazin is an active member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and lives in Southern California. She is, most importantly, a mother of four children-three of them biracial-and has been married to her husband, Michael, (who just happens to be white) for (almost) ten happy, hectic years.

Contact Christelyn via email at ckarazin AT gmail DOT COM.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Smith on May 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
I loved this book as it was a fantastic step-by-step guide to the pain, pleasures and pitfalls of interracial relationships. Written in an accessible style, the authors weave in their own life experiences to add the human element to its pages, as they demonstrate that love can conquer all. Make no mistake; this is not a dry, academic self-help book. No, this is a warm, witty and positive book that shows black women how to look elsewhere to find lovers, partners and husbands - whatever society or the propagandists might say. Crucially it stresses that other races do desire black women as wives and long-term partners, rather than just `exotic' experiments - a point of view that I agree with one hundred per cent. Of course, at this point I should confess to being one of the `converted' to the nature of `swirling', as I am a white Englishman happily married to a black Nigerian woman (see my comment), but I am genuinely pleased that a book of this nature has been published. Women of all races deserve equality and freedom of choice, when it comes to finding personal happiness, and for those wishing to step outside the `norm' this book is a perfect guide. Doubtless the usual suspects will form an orderly queue to denigrate the authors for `selling-out', but they are wrong, for this book is about empowering black women to make decisions over their own lives, rather than have them dictated to by others. Essential reading for those men and women who prefer power and joy over oppression.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Tinyblu on March 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For the most part, the book was an interesting read. I can't really say that it provides any insight into the IR dating world. The advice offered on how to "catch" a white man isn't any different than what one would find in any dating book in general. Making yourself available to the opposite sex isn't rocket science nor do the rules change based on the race of the man.

As for the general rhetoric and tone of the book, the authors continue to perpetuate the same idealisms that have created the very stereotype among Black women that we so strongly fight against daily. Reiterating the statistics of the number of black men in jail, on the down-low, or with women of other races does nothing to further the "cause" of dating outside the race. Rather, one should date whom they want because that's the way they feel. The undertone seemed to suggest that black women should date outside their race because there's no other choice. It seems to me that the authors have let their negative experiences with black men shape their views of them and feel the need to "caution the sistas" against falling into the same trap. Newsflash: Jerk comes in ALL races.

I had some snciker out loud moments and some inner "Amens" to statements that substantiated that black women are not "gold diggers" for desiring someone with equal educational and financial backgrounds (only followed by the statistics that we outnumber educated, gainfully employed black men... and they are all players), yet I felt that this book somehow bashed the brothers.

I have dated outside my race for years not because I have stopped believing in my "brothers", but because my lifestyle choices tend to lend themselves to my counterparts of other races.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Toni M. on May 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really mean it.

I've read books that discussed the ups and downs of interracial relationships and what to expect as a black woman interested in crossing the racial boundaries of romance. But I think this really is the first time I've read a book that covered all the bases. For example, I was really impressed that it didn't go on and on about black/white relationships only. MANY people are under the impression that black women only swirl with white men and that minority interracial relationships don't happen or "don't count". It's really nice getting some background on interracial and intercultural relationships involving black women and Asian (East and South), Latino, and Middle-Eastern men, as well as different ethnic groups of white men.

In addition to heart-felt stories and informative interviews, there were actual step-by-step guides for the most awkward of situations, and you could really tell that the authors had been there before themselves and were authentically reassuring you with the advice they were offering.

Also, since I had the e-book, I was able to better navigate to read and re-read information with ease. At the same time, the book flowed very cohesively, drifting from one part to the next, allowing you to move from understanding the reluctance of interracial dating, to preparing to do it, to navigating through the stages of the relationship. If a black woman wanted to use this book, she could read it and process it slowly, moving forward to the next chapters and parts when she was ready to address those areas as they related to her IRR dating situation.

Overall, I would say that this is an absolute MUST HAVE for anyone seriously planning to date interracially, but most especially for black women.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Author of Black Women Deserve Better

Now here's a gal I can relate to: Awkward moments, humiliation, heartbreak, and eventual triumph with an extra dose of humor! Christelyn takes her readers on a journey which many Black women fear to tread. Apart from the title, do not pick up "Swirling" expecting a read filled with euphemisms and other subtleties. The book is informative yet entertaining, chock full of invaluable tips designed for "real life" application!

A note to prospective Black women readers who are considering "Swirling": Circulating the bloggersphere is a parade of "Interesting Assumptions", Personal Vendettas & Derailment. Under normal circumstances, it would be unnecessary to elaborate on the motivation behind such negativity; however I will keep my explanation brief and to the point as possible. Yes...I DO want the prospective reader to actually check out those bad reviews. Just be aware that the same disingenuous parties have actively sought out "Swirling" on other book forums for the sole purpose of leaving disparaging remarks. Process this feedback with a grain of salt and purchase this book. Upon completing "Swirling" the utter foolishness and bad faith operators will be painfully apparent. It is almost comical to read the fear based reviews mired in projection, self-absorption, fallacious arguments and dissent for its own sake. Please consider the motivations behind such convoluted efforts to separate Black women from this potentially life-enhancing material. The combined efforts of Christelyn Karazin and Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn have more than sufficiently addressed any legitimate concerns raised about Black women expanding their mating options.
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