Tanner Blue is an African-American woman named after the black painter, Henry Ossawa Tanner. She wants to honor the reputation of her namesake. Connecting her thirtieth birthday to her birth causes Tanner Blue to revisit her own potential as an artist, which was encouraged by her father and blocked by her mother. Destiny leads Tanner Blue to a magical world that tests her creative abilities and alters her relationship to reality forever.
LENORE BROOKS is an African-American woman in her early forties who visits the Old Town Oakland farmers’ market on Friday afternoons. Though she is married to JAMEY LAMONTE, a very successful realtor, she finds herself drawn to MANGROVE WINGFEATHER, who she has noticed at the market for several weeks. Lenore dabbles at painting and Mangrove sets up exhibits at the Oakland museum. After Jamey sells some of Lenore’s paintings as a “surprise,” without her permission, Lenore leaves home and accepts Mangrove’s invitation to accompany him to the Painted Desert on a business trip. Overshadowed by a full solar eclipse, their travels bring to light a shocking secret that pulls Lenore in many revealing directions.
ISALENE WILL is a black girl from the projects on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The summer of her ninth birthday presents her with several intense transitions, one of which is leaving her neighborhood to attend an elite school where she is one of few black students. Divided between two worlds, she digs deep and tests the stability of her roots.
El niño, Demonstration, Cross Country, What If The Indians?, Sleep Away, Flip Turn, and Music for the Dream make up this collection of seven short stories. In them you will meet NASH and JOANA, who are considering having a child; CHARM PALMÉ, an aspiring journalist who wants to show a positive side of Oakland, California; MERINA JORDAN, who gets caught up in double romantic intrigue on her way from New York City to Los Angeles; ALURA, who speaks up for the first time in her high-school history class; GLORI, an adolescent who is coming of age; BLESSINEand BRICKwho are tempted to buy a houseboat and “simplify” their lives; and NANIKI, who lives on a hidden island in danger of being discovered. These characters stand ready to escort you through worlds of desire, nostalgia, and future possibilities.