Today is the release day for Memphis Noir,
a collection of stories celebrating the underbelly of the city, its ghosts, and the characters that give Memphis its rich patina of blues. Edited by Laureen P. Cantwell and Leonard Gill, the tome brings together many of Memphis' best writers [edtior's note: I am one of the authors included — when noting "the best," however, humility dictates I speak only about my fellow writers] who capture the feel of our unique city past and present.
covers train cars and Beale Street, hoodoo and segregation, Nathan Bedford Forrest and, of course, Graceland, and even includes a graphic novella, the only one in the series," writes Lesley Young in the current issue of The Memphis Flyer
. "Veteran Noir contributor and writer Cary Holladay says she was delighted to participate in the project. 'Memphis literally has stories growing on trees. Every day, I heard about or read aobut or find myself involved in . . . stories that, to paraphrase Mark Twain, are not too strange to happen but are much too strange to believe,' Holladay says. 'Memphis is quirky and feral. It should have its own entire series.'"
The Noir series from Akashic Books
is 71 strong with another 18 on the way. The first is centered in Brooklyn, but they range from Tehran to Trinidad, Young reports. And, Gill says, "Memphis should be proud. The collection was beyond my expectations, and I couldn't be happier with it."
To celebrate the release, there will be a signing and release party this evening at Story Booth
in the Crosstown Concourse development in conjunction with The Booksellers of Laurelwood
. Many of the writers will be in attendance to discuss their stories and sign books.
438 N. Cleveland Street
Tuesday, Nov. 3
The full list of writers included in the anthology:
David Wesley Williams
Richard J. Alley
Suzanne Berube Rorhus
Sheree Renée Thomas
Troy L. Wiggins