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Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm: A Novel

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Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm: A Novel

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Passion and risk, fathers and daughters, wives and single women, jazz and soul: a provocative debut novel about the perennial temptations of dangerous love, told by the women who love Circus Palmer—trumpet player and old-school ladies’ man—as they ultimately discover the power of their own voices.

“In an exceptional debut, Warrell turns love, or at least the love life of musician Circus Palmer, into the proverbial jazz club: dark and sexy, freeing and frightening, ecstatic and lonely.... A modern masterpiece.” —Jason Reynolds, best-selling author of Look Both Ways

It’s 2013, and Circus Palmer, a forty-year-old Boston-based trumpet player and old-school ladies’ man, lives for his music and refuses to be tied down. Before a gig in Miami, he learns that the woman who is secretly closest to his heart, the free-spirited drummer Maggie, is pregnant by him. Instead of facing the necessary conversation, Circus flees, setting off a chain of interlocking revelations from the various women in his life. Most notable among them is his teenage daughter, Koko, who idolizes him and is awakening to her own sexuality even as her mentally fragile mother struggles to overcome her rejection by Circus.
Delivering a lush orchestration of diverse female voices, Warrell has penned a provoc­ative and gripping novel about the perennial dangers of desire and the answer to the age-old question: How do we find belonging when love is unrequited?

LAURA WARRELL is a contributor to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Tin House Summer Workshop, and is a graduate of the creative writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has appeared in HuffPost, The Rumpus, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications. She has taught creative writing and literature at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and through the Emerging Voices Fellowship at PEN America in Los Angeles, where she lives.

ISBN: 9780593316443

ISBN-10: 9780593316443

Publisher: Pantheon

Publication Date: 09/27/2022 - 12:00am

On Sale: 09/27/2022 - 12:00am

Pages: 368

Language: English


Fiction / African American & Black / Women

Fiction / Literary

Fiction / Family Life / Marriage & Divorce