Currently showing posts tagged Sharyn Skeeter

  • "Dancers' Moving Day" is live. Or, Dancing with Langston excerpt in the Hawai'i Pacific Review there is.

    Super excited about this I am. Please do check-out "Dancers' Moving Day" at Hawai'i Pacific Review here, many thanks to HPR for that, and please enjoy some excerpt below. Cool? Yes. Totally.

    "The jerk sat with his fingers tapping on the meter, waiting for his tip.

    “'Lady! Look, I can’t get the cab through. They got that truck blockin’ the street. You gotta get outta here.'

    “'Get out here? Are you kidding?'

    "This wasn’t good for me, but he was right. There was no way into the side street, past the construction truck and parked cars. I had to lug out from the back seat the old blue suitcase and plaid carry-on that I’d brought for Cousin Ella’s clothes.

    "When I got out on the corner, I fumbled in my purse to pull out Dad’s letter. I needed to reread where he said I’d find Cousin Ella. I was on Lenox Avenue, standing under the scaffolding surrounding the buildings on the block. My heart raced when I heard the clunks of falling bricks above my head and I coughed from breathing old dust from busted walls. I skimmed to the end of Dad’s letter—shaky handwriting on lined paper.

    "P.S. The pain is starting, but I’m not asking for morphine yet. With my fuzzy mind, I forgot to say where she lives. I can’t even remember the street. The building is number 24, her apartment is 62. You’ll find it in a side street directly across from those tall apartment buildings where Mr. Jackson lived.

    "I had to get my bearings. I had looked up Cousin Ella’s address in the white pages, but I wanted to be sure. Facing east, the Harlem River was just beyond that housing complex of tall buildings across the street. Mr. Jackson, Dad’s old Army war buddy, lived there when I was a young girl. Dad used to bring me when he’d go to see him. Sometimes when the men would talk war stores, Dad would mumble about how his older cousin Langston gallivanted around the world while he put on a uniform and fought for his country—and life—in the Black Forest. He also told me the Savoy Ballroom had been right across there on Lenox Avenue and 141st Street, and the Cotton Club had been nearby. I loved his stories of the jazzy dancers in the chorus line. I imagined myself in their short skirts as I tried out their dance steps in my bedroom. Cousin Ella had been one of those dancers before she went to Paris. Why did everything that was gone remind me of Dad?"

  • "If Dancing with Langston were a round white doily, Cousin Ella would find it on the floor next to her dressing table in a Parisian cabaret." Let's talk Dancing with Langston by Sharyn Skeeter. Reviews, interviews, think pieces and hype are also nice.

    As the universe inexplicably continues to chug along despite, or is it in spite, of the current state of the world, I'm really honored to support efforts to bring Dancing with Langston by Sharyn Skeeter out into the wider world. To further quote her recent piece in Monkeybicycle:

    "If Dancing with Langston were a round white doily, Cousin Ella would find it on the floor next to her dressing table in a Parisian cabaret. She would take a moment to admire the intricate detail of the hand-crocheted star in its center—a reminder of her aspirations as a dancer. Then Jack would bang on the door and tell her she was late for her performance. She’d hide the doily in her bag and rush out on the stage to shake her butt for the drunk patrons.

    "The next time she’d hold the doily would be when she’d pull it out of her bag, crush it in her hand like a ball to wipe her tears. She’d be in a Montmartre café, sipping red wine. Across the table, Langston would listen and stare at her face as she tells him she has to go home to Harlem."

    And what could be more interesting than all of that?

    Nothing I can think of. 

    Please let me know if you have any questions and/or are interested in reviewing the book, interviewing the author, writing think pieces or generally engaging in the hype we're looking to generate for this most compelling of books. For much more on all things Dancing with Langston please do go here.