Black Resonance: Iconic Women Singers and African American Literature
By Emily J. Lordi | Wednesday, January 1, 2014
By Emily J. Lordi
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Available from Rutgers University Press, 2013.
What is the relationship between music and literature? In her recent book, Black Resonance, UMass Amherst English Professor, Emily J. Lordi, studies the connections and resonances between African American writers and black women’s singers. Lordi compares writing by authors such as Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Gayl Jones, and Nikki Giovanni that engage with such iconic singers as Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson, and Aretha Franklin. Demonstrating that these singers are more than just muses, Lordi analyzes how the expressive breakthroughs of black vocalists echo in the prose and poetry of African American writers.
Lordi's work is interdisciplinary, drawing from traditions of both music and literary analysis. She credits her training in English for helping her to develop a detailed practice of close reading that reveals the demanding beauty and brilliance of black writing and song.