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About Richard J. Alley
Richard J. Alley is the author of the novels FIVE NIGHT STAND and AMELIA THORN. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee, with his wife, novelist Kristy Dallas Alley, and their children.
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The Home of the Blues knows how darkness can permeate a person’s soul—and what it can drive you to do. It’s the soundtrack to a city that’s made up of equal parts hope and despair, past and present, death and rebirth. On the streets of Memphis, noir hits the right note.
Memphis Noir features stories by city standouts Richard J. Alley, David Wesley Williams, Dwight Fryer, Jamey Hatley, Adam Shaw, Penny Register-Shaw, Kaye George, Arthur Flowers, Suzanne Berube Rorhus, Ehi Ike, Lee Martin, Stephen Clements, Cary Holladay, John Bensko, Sheree Renée Thomas, and Troy L. Wiggins.
“A remarkable picture of contemporary Memphis emerges in this Akashic noir volume . . . Something for everyone.” —Publishers Weekly
“Covers train cars and Beale Street, hoodoo and segregation, Nathan Bedford Forrest and, of course, Graceland, and even includes a graphic novella.” —Memphis Flyer
“Captures the subtlety of the Memphis ethos, where blacks and whites, rich and poor, are intimately entwined. The collection—fifteen stories by some of the city’s finest writers—bleeds the blues and calls down the dark powers that permeate this capital of the Delta.” —The Commercial Appeal (Memphis)
“The new anthology Memphis Noir is replete with murders, ghosts, gangsters, a sharp-toothed baby, Boss Crump, and high water on the bluff.” —Memphis Magazine
Legendary jazz pianist Oliver Pleasant finds himself alone at the end of his career, playing his last five shows, hoping the music will draw his estranged family back…
Frank Severs, a middle-aged, out-of-work journalist, is at a crossroads as his longtime dreams and marriage grind to a standstill…
And piano prodigy Agnes Cassady is desperately grasping for fulfillment before a debilitating disease wrenches control from her trembling fingers…
When Frank and Agnes come to New York to witness Oliver’s final five-night stand, the timeless force of Oliver’s music pulls the trio together. Over the course of five nights, the three reflect on their triumphs and their sorrows: families forsaken, ideals left along the wayside, secrets kept. Their shared search for meaning and direction in a fractured world creates an unexpected kinship that just might help them make sense of the past, find peace in the present, and muster the courage to face the future.
Through her lens, Amelia brings into sharp focus three generations, and her own life, as it starts and stops again and again. First as a child in a small, stifling town in the Southern delta. Then as a new bride away from home and family for the first time. Later in hiding, abused, a baby lost and husband killed in war. And, finally, as something new for her and for the era — a woman traveling the world under her own terms, without regret, and with a strength she never knew she had.