Cynthia Cannell Literary Agency
A full-service literary agency in New York City


Posts tagged Jeffery Renard Allen

SONG OF THE SHANK is the powerful novel from the prodigiously talented author of RAILS UNDER MY BACK (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000). It recounts the obscure history of Thomas Greene Wiggins, a remarkable nineteenth-century African American musical prodigy and “idiot savant” who performed under the stage name Blind Tom. Born a slave in Georgia in 1849, Wiggins was one of the first African American classical musicians, a contemporary of virtuosos such as Liszt and Rubinstein.

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This dazzling novel, which has been hailed nationwide as a rare achievement on the level of fiction by Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Richard Wright, is the communal expression of a century of African-American life in America, with its imagery of exodus and exile, departure and destiny. Wielding extraordinary literary, religious, and historical power, it is the triumphant debut of a most powerful and utterly original voice.

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Encompassing ten short stories, Jeffery Renard Allen's forthcoming collection FAT TIME (Graywolf Press, 2020) is loosely linked around African notions of time and place, along with African views of space, cosmology, and metaphysics. Taken together, these ten stories represent a contemporary master at the top of his craft.

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The world of Jeffery Renard Allen’s stunning short story collection, HOLDING PATTERN, is a recognizable city (Chicago), but one in which a young man, jailed for jumping a subway turnstile, might sprout wings, or copper pennies might rain from the skies. Yet these are no fairy tales – Allen’s sensitivity to the realities of African American life is assuredly contemporary. Dazzlingly written, astonishingly inventive and unfailingly entertaining, HOLDING PATTERN (Graywolf, 2008) is a break-out collection.

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