A gathering of the best jazz fiction from the 1920s to the present, this anthology includes 20th-century fiction by Eudora Welty, James Baldwin, Richard Yates, and others, plus important recent work from writers such as Yusef Komunyakaa, Xu Xi, and Amiri Baraka. Together these artists demonstrate the strong influence of jazz on fiction. That influence can be felt in prose styles shaped by jazz -- freewheeling, dramatic, conversational, improvisatory; in stories of players and listeners searching for what lies beyond the music's aesthetic power; and in the ambience of the jazz performance as captured by the written word. What sounds throughout these stories is the universal voice of humanity that is the essence of the music.
Introduction 1. Don Asher, "The Barrier" 2. James Baldwin, "Sonny's Blues" 3. Toni Cade Bambara, "Medley" 4. Amiri Baraka, "Norman's Date" 5. Amiri Baraka, "The Screamers" 6. Frank London Brown, "Singing Dinah's Song" 7. Michelle Cliff, "A Woman Who Plays Trumpet Is Deported" 8. Wanda Coleman, "Jazz at Twelve" 9. Julio Cortazar, "Bix Beiderbecke" 10. Julio Cortazar, "The Pursuer" 11. Kiki DeLancey, "Swingtime" 12. Ralph Ellison, "A Coupla Scalped Indians" 13. Rudolph Fisher, "Common Meter" 14. Sam Greenlee, "Blues for Little Prez" 15. David Huddle, Tenorman: A Novella 16. Langston Hughes, "The Blues I'm Playing" 17. Langston Hughes, "Old Ghost Revives Atavistic Memories in a Lady of the DAR" 18. Phil Kawana, "Dead Jazz Guys" 19. Yusef Komunyakaa, "Buddy's Monologue" 20. Ellen Jordis Lewis, "Miss Brown to You" 21. William Henry Lewis, "Rossonian Days" 22. John McCluskey, "Lush Life" 23. Bill Moody, "Child's Play" 24. James Reed, "The Shrimp Peel Gig" 25. Josef kvoreck, "The End of Bull Macha" 26. Terry Southern, "You're Too Hip, Baby" 27. Julian Street, "The Jazz Baby" 28. Boris Vian, "Round About Close to Midnight" 29. Eudora Welty, "Powerhouse" 30. John Edgar Wideman, "The Silence of Thelonious Monk" 31. Xu Xi, "Jazz Wife" 32. Richard Yates, "A Really Good Jazz Piano" Authors' Biographies AcknowledgmentsAmerican Book Review
The definitive collection of jazz fiction
Sascha Feinstein is editor of Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz & Literature; The Jazz Poetry Anthology (IUP, 1991) and The Second Set (IUP, 1996) (both with Yusef Komunyakaa); and Ask Me Now: Conversations on Jazz and Literature (IUP, 2007). In 2008, Feinstein was named Pennsylvania's Governor's Awards Artist of the Year. David Rife is author of Jazz Fiction: A History and Comprehensive Reader's Guide.
Though one can find other anthologies of jazz fiction, all acknowledged by the editors, this collection is richer than any of its predecessors. . . . The appealing material collected here captures the ambience of the jazz universe in surprising ways. The best stories are poetic, metaphorical, imagistic, rhythm-based, allusive, and illusive-reflecting respect/adoration for jazz and artistry. . . . Highly recommended.May 2010 * Choice * Carefully chosen and superbly edited by Sascha Feinstein and David Rife, the collection of 32 pieces of short fiction brings together some of the best jazz fiction from the 1920s to the present. . . . these stories virtually swing off the page. December 2009 * Jersey Jazz *