Publication Date: 07/09/2023 ISBN: 9781784878627 Category:

The Gilda Stories

Jewelle Gomez, Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication Date: 07/09/2023 ISBN: 9781784878627 Category:


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‘A groundbreaking work of Afrofuturism before the term was even coined’ Guardian

‘A lush, exciting, inspiring read’ Sarah Waters

In this radically reimagined vampire myth, the night hides many things…

Louisiana, 1850. A young girl escapes slavery and is taken in by two mysterious women. Rumoured to be witches, the pair travel only at night, dress in men’s clothing and seem to know others’ innermost thoughts. But the girl sees the promise of true freedom in their dark glittering eyes: the promise to ‘share the blood’ and live forever. They name her Gilda.

Over the next two hundred years, Gilda moves through unseen spaces: through antebellum brothels, gold-rush bars, Black women’s suffrage groups, hair salons and jazz clubs, searching for a way to exist in the world. Her body, powerful against the passage of time, will know both beauty and horror through the women she desires and the blood she craves. But can Gilda truly outrun the darkness of history and face a future where the lives of everyone she loves are at stake?

Publisher Review

The Gilda Stories was ahead of its time when it was first published in 1991... Gomez's characters are rooted in historical reality yet lift seductively out of it, to trouble traditional models of family, identity, and literary genre and imagine for us bold new patterns. A lush, exciting, inspiring read -- Sarah Waters Fire for the conscience and food for the soul... Jewelle Gomez's 1991 novel, The Gilda Stories, helped shape the emergence of Afro- and Indigenous futurisms -- Jay Bernard, author of Surge The Gilda Stories is groundbreaking not just for the wild lives it portrays, but for how it portrays them - communally, unapologetically, roaming fiercely over space and time -- Emma Donoghue, author of Room 'How Long 'Til Black Future Month', asks NK Jemisin in the title of her recent short story collection. The brilliant Octavia Butler provided many profound answers, and keeping her company was Jewelle Gomez. Her diamantine novel The Gilda Stories traces Black lesbian community from the antebellum South to technodystopian 2050, via Gilda, who escapes slavery and becomes a vampire. Meeting other queer Black, Indigenous and Latinx 'sisters in the life', Gilda develops both her compelling ethics and her swoonsome butch style, determined to survive racism, sexism, homophobia and climate crisis by loving others * Dazed & Confused * This revolutionary classic by a pioneer in black speculative fiction will delight and inspire generations to come -- Tananarive Due Jewelle's big-hearted novel pulls old rhythms out of the earth, the beauty shops and living rooms of black lesbian herstory, expressed by the dazzling vampire Gilda. Her resilience is a testament to black queer women's love, power, and creativity. Brilliant! -- Joan Steinau Lester Uses the vampire story as a vehicle for a re-telling of American history in which the disenfranchised finally get their say. Her take on queerness, community, and the vampire legend is as radical and relevant as ever -- Michael Nava I still feel a connection to Gilda: her tenacity, her desire for community, her insistence on living among humanity with all its flaws and danger. The Gilda Stories are both classic and timely. Gilda emphasizes the import of tenets at the crux of black feminism while her stories ring with the urgency of problems that desperately need to be resolved in our current moment -- Theri A. Pickens, author of Black Madness Its focus on a black lesbian who possesses considerable agency througout the centuries, and its commentary on gender and race, remain significant and powerful * Publishers Weekly * Gilda's body knows silk, telepathy, lavender, longing, timeless love, and so much blood. With sensory, action-packed prose and a poet's eye for beauty, Jewelle Gomez gives us an empathy transfusion. This all-American novel of the undead is a life-affirming read -- Lenelle Moise, author of Haiti Glass

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