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Black Bottom Saints: A Novel

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An enthralling literary tour-de-force that pays tribute to Detroits legendary neighborhood, a mecca for jazz, sports, and politics, Black Bottom Saints is a powerful blend of fact and imagination reminiscent of E.L. Doctorows classic novel Ragtime and Marlon James Man Booker Award-winning masterpiece, A Brief History of Seven Killings.

From the Great Depression through the post-World War II years, Joseph "Ziggy" Johnson, has been the pulse of Detroits famous Black Bottom. A celebrated gossip columnist for the citys African-American newspaper, the Michigan Chronicle, he is also the emcee of one of the hottest night clubs, where hes rubbed elbows with the legendary black artists of the era, including Ethel Waters, Billy Eckstein, and Count Basie. Ziggy is also the founder and dean of the Ziggy Johnson School of Theater. But now the doyen of Black Bottom is ready to hang up his many dapper hats.

As he lays dying in the black-owned-and-operated Kirkwood Hospital, Ziggy reflects on his life, the community that was the center of his world, and the remarkable people who helped shape it.

Inspired by the Catholic Saints Day Books, Ziggy curates his own list of Black Bottoms venerable 52 Saints. Among them are a vulnerable Dinah Washington, a defiant Joe Louis, and a raucous Bricktop. Randall balances the stories of these larger-than-life Saints with local heroes who became household names, enthralling men and women whose unstoppable ambition, love of style, and faith in community made this black Midwestern neighborhood the rival of New York Citys Harlem.

Accompanying these "tributes" are thoughtfully paired cocktails--special drinks that capture the essence of each of Ziggys saints--libations as strong and satisfying as Alice Randalls wholly original view of a place and time unlike any other.


Product Details

Author: Alice Randall

Language: English

Edition:

Binding: Hardcover

Publisher: Amistad

Release Date: 2020-08-18

Pages: 368

ISBN: 0062968629

ISBN13: 9780062968623