ebook

Jazz Moon: A Novel Joe Okonkwo

ISBN 9781496701176
Publish Date 5/31/2016
Format ePub
Categories Fiction General, ePub

“A passionate, alive, and original novel about love, race, and jazz in 1920s Harlem and Paris—a moving story of traveling far to find oneself.” —David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife

In a lyrical, captivating debut set against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance and glittering Jazz Age Paris, Joe Okonkwo creates an evocative story of emotional and artistic awakening.

On a sweltering summer night in 1925, beauties in beaded dresses mingle with hepcats in dapper suits on the streets of Harlem. The air is thick with reefer smoke, and jazz pours out of speakeasy doorways. Ben Charles and his devoted wife, Angeline, are among the locals crammed into a basement club to hear jazz and drink bootleg liquor. For aspiring poet Ben, the swirling, heady rhythms are a revelation. So is Baby Back Johnston, an ambitious trumpet player who flashes a devilish grin and blasts jazz dynamite from his horn. Ben finds himself drawn to the trumpeter—and to Paris where Baby Back says everything is happening.

In Paris, jazz and champagne flow eternally, and blacks are welcomed as exotic celebrities, especially those from Harlem. It’s an easy life that quickly leaves Ben adrift and alone, craving solace through anonymous dalliances in the city’s decadent underground scene. From chic Parisian cafés to seedy opium dens, his odyssey will bring new love, trials, and heartache, even as echoes from the past urge him to decide where true fulfillment and inspiration lie.

“Jazz Moon mashes up essences of Hurston and Hughes and Fitzgerald into a heady mixtape of a romance: driving and rhythmic as an Armstrong Hot Five record, sensuous as the small of a Cotton Club chorus girl’s back. I enjoyed it immensely. Frankly, I wish I'd written it.” —Larry Duplechan, author of Blackbird and Got 'til It's Gone

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016 @ 7pm
JAZZ MOON BOOK RELEASE PARTY
Book Culture
536 West 112th Street
New York, NY

Thursday, June 2, 2016 @ 7pm
JAZZ MOON READING
The Astoria Bookshop
31-29 31st Street
Astoria, NY

Friday, June 3, 2016 @ 8pm
JAZZ MOON READING
Men of All Colors Together
@ The Gay & Lesbian Center
208 West 13th Street
New York, NY

Saturday, June 4, 2016 @ 6pm
JAZZ MOON SIGNING
Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 @ 7pm
FROM HARLEM TO BROADWAY: A READING AND CONVERSATION WITH TWO NEW YORK NOVELISTS
With Joe Okonkwo and Richard Taylor Pearson, author of The Role
Bureau of General Services - Queer Division
@ The Gay & Lesbian Center
208 West 13th Street Room 210
New York, NY

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 @ 7pm
JOE OKONKWO IN CONVERSATION DAVID EBERSHOFF,  AUTHOR OF THE DANISH GIRL
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
126 Crosby Street
New York, NY

Thursday, July 7, 2016 @ 7pm
READING: JOE OKONKWO & KIA CORTHRON
KGB Bar
85 East 4th Street
New York, NY

Saturday, August 6
READING & SIGNING
OutWrite Festival, LGBT book festival
Washington, D.C.

About Joe Okonkwo:

Pushcart Prize nominee Joe Okonkwo’s short stories have appeared in a variety of print and online venues including Storychord, Cooper Street, Promethean, Penumbra Literary Magazine, Chelsea Station, Shotgun Honey, and Best Gay Stories 2015. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from City College of New York. Jazz Moon is his first novel. Readers can visit his website at www.JoeOkonkwo.com.

Photo Credit: Theik Smith


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