Saint Monkey: A Novel

Saint Monkey: A Novel

by Jacinda Townsend

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

"[A] compelling debut…Townsend's writing [is] full of fresh turns of phrase and keen insights." —Ayana Mathis, New York Times Book Review


Fourteen-year-old Audrey Martin, with her Poindexter glasses and her head humming the 3/4 meter of gospel music, knows she’ll never get out of Kentucky—but when her fingers touch the piano keys, the whole church trembles. Her best friend, Caroline, daydreams about Hollywood stardom, but both girls feel destined to languish in a slow-moving stopover town in Montgomery County.

That is, until chance intervenes and a booking agent offers Audrey a ticket to join the booming jazz scene in Harlem—an offer she can’t resist, not even for Caroline. And in New York City the music never stops. Audrey flirts with love and takes the stage at the Apollo, with its fast-dancing crowds and blinding lights. But fortunes can turn fast in the city—young talent means tough competition, and for Audrey failure is always one step away. Meanwhile, Caroline sinks into the quiet anguish of a Black woman in a backwards country, where her ambitions and desires only slip further out of reach.

Jacinda Townsend’s remarkable first novel is a coming-of-age story made at once gripping and poignant by the wild energy of the Jazz Era and the stark realities of segregation. Marrying musical prose with lyric vernacular, Saint Monkey delivers a stirring portrait of American storytelling and marks the appearance of an auspicious new voice in literary fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393350821
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 02/02/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Jacinda Townsend studied at Harvard University and Duke University Law School before receiving her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana, and teaches creative writing at Indiana University. Saint Monkey is her first novel.

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