The stories collected in Nine Bar Blues weave emotion, spirit, and music, captivating readers with newfound alchemy and the murmurs of dark gods. Rooted in rhythm, threaded with magic, these tales encompass worlds that begin in river bottoms, pass through spectral gates, and end in distant uncharted worlds. These stories describe the pain that often accompanies the confines of sanctuary and the joy that is inextricably bound to the troubles of hard living. Nine Bar Blues sings a multiverse of fully realized worlds that readers will remember for ages to come and cherish from page to heart thumping, foot-stomping page.
Ancestries Aunt Dissy’s Policy Dream Book Nightflight The Dragon Can’t Dance Thirteen Year Long Song Lokeera’s Tongue Stars Come Down Shanequa’s Blues, or Another Shotgun Lullaby Madame and the Map: A Journey in Five Movements Teddy Bump Origins of Southern Spirit Music
"Sheree Renée Thomas gives us a whirlpool of poem and story, a 'wild and strangeful breed' of cosmology … ”—Tyehimba Jess, Pulitzer Prize Winner, author of Olio and Leadbelly
“…a feat of literary conjuration. Poetry, prose combine in a mythic discourse that combines African, Indigenous, and European tropes to explore the power and plaints of woman hood; the thin line between life and death; the power of the Fates; the volatility of nature; a desire for and the achievement of transformation.... The texts here offer a profound understanding of the Black American South—where trees are sources of shade and succor or memorials to humanity's murderous traits. And it is a sly portrait of Memphis, Tennessee, Thomas' hometown. This is a bold book full of taller than tall tales and delicate lyrics-where birth, death, sex, magic and discovery walk the same path and haunt the writer's dreams. Join her on this journey and find out what it is like to sleep under that tree." —Patricia Spears Jones, Jackson Prize Winner, author of A Lucent Fire: New and Selected, Painkiller, Femme du Monde, and The Weather That Kills
“The lyrical gifts of Thomas, editor of the celebrated Dark Matter anthologies.... She invokes the rhythms of African-American ring shouts and the dense, humid atmosphere of the American South. " —Publishers Weekly