“Sheree Renée Thomas gives us a whirlpool of poem and story, a ‘wild and strangeful breed’ of cosmology … " —Tyehimba Jess, Pulitzer Prize Winner, author of Olio and Leadbelly
Read an excerpt of Nine Bar Blues here.
Sheree Renée Thomas is a two-headed woman, one crown, earthbound, rooted in the Mississippi Delta and the New Weird South, the other spinning far off into space. And if music is the embedded memory of a culture, then her remarkable fiction collection is its excavated soul. Individually, these tales explore nearly every genre of music that has formed the heart of American culture, but their shared song is the story of the blues. Thomas’s writing haunts and mesmerizes you. Her imagination takes you down through it like the best traditional blues song, then opens you up again, delivering you into that mysterious, transcendental space that is the ninth bar.
Haunting and evocative, Nine Bar Blues carries the soul’s songbook, from the dark laughter of strange sisters forced to make a perilous journey into a land their mothers have never known, to the fortified funk of extraterrestrial mixtapes.
Sheree Renée Thomas imagines stories that are sonic rituals, works that cultivate and affirm the magical and the mystical in everyday living. Nine Bar Blues explores the multitudinous forms of music and the people who make it and appreciate it—the body’s music, the spirit’s music, and what moves a soul forward in the crossroads journey of life. Her stories travel from haunted West African and Middle Eastern forests to the mysterious back roads in the Mississippi Delta, from the ancestral realms of the afterlife to the alien sounds beyond. And throughout the journey, Nine Bar Blues heralds the arrival of a unique writer whose voice carries the hope and the past-future-present of a people.