Friday, October 2, 2009

Day of the Dead, Victoria Brownworth

The stories in Victoria A. Brownworth's Day of the Dead are thronged by the lost and lonely--nuns and researchers, ghosts and vampires, students and succubi--abandoned by lovers, by the state, their own faith. People like us, searching for peace and redemption. And through it all steals the mist, the scent of the bayou, and the ringing of bells...

From the publisher
City of dreams. City of nightmares. Heat-soaked days. Rain-filled nights. Shadowy figures vanishing into swirling fog. City of promise, of heartbreak and despair. City of passion, obsession and vengeance. City of innocents--stalked by the ravenous dead. Slip into the shadows of New Orleans' deepest nights, where the unsuspecting encounter the netherworld of predators of legend. Especially on days of legend: St. Lucy's Day, Guy Fawkes' Day, All Hallows Eve, Twelfth Night. Most of all, the Day of the Dead. This is when the dying Maeve will find Rita--who changes everything, including fate. When Miranda Kent, on a very specific hunt in the French Quarter, will overturn lives irrevocably. When Mischa and Raisa, caught between worlds, will find themselves no longer helpless. When scientist Dr. Lily Sahkret will have her every belief challenged by a mysterious band of nuns waging the most ancient and desperate of battles. And, lurking beyond them all, is the woman poised to conquer all, a woman named Katrina. Lock the doors. And even then, read these tales at your peril.

There's a good review here.

Victoria Brownworth is a Pulitzer-nominated Philadelphia journalist and writer. (And activist--AIDS, breast cancer, disability, racism, classism. And Curve contributing editor. And columnist, critic, editor, anthologist, teacher, and cat rescuer. And more. People sometimes tell me I do a lot but I'm an amateur compared to this woman.) These are stories of the lesbians of New Orleans--before, during, and after Katrina--and the fantastical monsters they meet (or are). Despite the otherworldly New Orleans atmosphere, it's clear that in this fiction everything but the supernatural elements is deeply informed by Brownworth's personal understanding and journalistic knowledge of the real world.

I've never been to New Orleans but I know, now, what it's like.

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