Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
Agent: Janet Silver
Mecca Jamilah Sullivan is the author of the short story collection Blue Talk and Love (Magnus Books). She is Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Born and raised in Harlem, New York, she received the Charles Johnson Fiction Award, the James Baldwin Memorial Playwriting Award, and honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mellon Foundation, and the Center for Fiction in New York City. Her stories have appeared in Best New Writing, American Fiction, Prairie Schooner, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere, and she is Associate Editor for Arts & Culture at The Feminist Wire.
Blue Talk and Love
By Mecca Jamilah Sullivan | Riverdale Avenue Books, 2015
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 story lines 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.