The Mayor of New Orleans: Just Talking Jazz

Fatima Shaik, Author Creative Arts Book Company $13.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-88739-050-0
This collection of three lush and evocative novellas is the first publication in book form by this native of New Orleans, whose keen ear for dialogue and languid style help capture the special ambience of southern Louisiana. In the title story a voluble black trumpet player entertains a lonely New York visitor with an all-night tale of how he, Walter Watson Lameir, a street musician, became Mayor of New Orleans for four frenzied months, only to end up in jail for four unhappy days. In Climbing Monkey Hill a sensitive black girl comes of age in the New Orleans of 1965, a city bitterly divided by court-ordered integration and seething with racial tensions. Levia is yearning to expand her world, yet she wants security; violent confrontation pushes her into adulthood. Joan, a young girl from the Cajun country, searches for her mother, a prostitute working in the French Quarter, in Before Echo. She is 16, the same age her mother was when she fled the bayou, and she realizes that she must decide the future course of her life. Knowledgeable and perceptive, Shaik imbues these stories of people in transition with insight and a deep melancholy. (December 20)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1988
Release date: 03/01/1988
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