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A week after Easter 1973---following the lynching of Black church sexton Sam Jefferson---Lily Vida Wallace is dropped like an immigrant into Greenville, South Carolina.

 

After returning home to Manhattan, Lily continues theological studies in anticipation of the overturn of a centuries-old, males-only priesthood and simultaneously struggles with her erratic engagement. 

           

Some two decades later, high-profile interracial nuptials in Oakland, California, become the occasion for a reunion between the now Reverend Vida and Lucius Clay, the fiery journalist she met in South Carolina.

 

Within weeks of their re-meeting, Lucius is dispatched to cover Black church burnings beginning with Lily’s hometown in Texas. 


Hilton Als comments: "We need to wake up to the fact that America is not one story. It is many, many, many stories." American Blues offers no neat resolution. Instead, its timely story invites, as it tangles with, readers’ own assumptions and complex experiences of race and gender in America.

Publication April 12, 2022.

Order at your local indie book seller.