Jess Row was handed the rules of engagement for a clever, white, literary author like all the rest; he just doesn't give a shit. He is not a coward like most of his peers and for that he should be applauded. His debut novel "Your Face In Mine" (Riverhead Books) is one part brilliant black science fiction and one part tedious urban-suburban bildungsroman, and all hammy ambition. It tells the story of Kelly Thorndike, a white guy, in his 30s, well-educated (he's sitting on a thesis about some obscure Chinese poets) who lost his wife, Wendy, and daughter, Meimei, in a car accident, and lives in Baltimore alone in a daze, running a crappy low-rent NPR station. He carries with him plenty of grief: for his dead wife and child, for his estranged group of high school friends, and for China, where he lived with Wendy, where they met and spent a significant amount of their time.