Blue Talk and Love
Blue Talk and Love’s "voice, despite material that seems frankly
contemporary, is paradoxically lyrical, nearly Faulknerian."
--Rick Moody, judge for the American Short Fiction Short Story Contest
Blue Talk and Love tells the stories of girls and women of color navigating the moods and mazes of urban daily life. Set in various enclaves of New York City — including the middle-class Hamilton Heights section of Harlem, the black queer social world of the West Village, the Spanish-speaking borderland between Harlem and Washington Heights, and historic Tin Pan Alley — the collection uses magic realism, historical fiction, satire and more to highlight young black women's inner lives.
The storylines range widely: a big-bodied teenage girl from Harlem discovers her sexuality in the midst of racial tensions at her Upper East Side school; four young women from Newark, New Jersey, are charged with assaulting the man who threatens to rape them; a pair of conjoined black female twins born into slavery, make their fame as stage performers in the Big City. In each story, the characters push past what is expected of them, learning to celebrate their voices and their lives.
"Sullivan’s prose shocks, intrigues, and transports us through fourteen artful and unique stories. And so do her rich and inimitable characters, most of them young black women struggling in a world they did not make but one they must confront, tear down, and remake. Black girls matter and Sullivan shows us just how much."
-- Cheryl Clarke, author of Narratives: Poems in the Tradition of Black Women