The Palace Blues: A Novel
Spinsters Ink, 2014
Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Lesbian Fiction
Set in the 1920s, The Palace Blues: A Novel tells the story of Frankie, a white Texas tomboy visiting her aunt and uncle in Chicago where she meets and falls for Jean Bailey, an African American, cross-dressing, blues singer. The novel is a physical and emotional journey of self-discovery and identity as told from a marginalized individual's quest to find a place in the midst of racial, cultural, gender and class conflicts.
“In addition to being a coming-of -age/coming-out story and an unsentimental romance, The Palace Blues is a road novel—or, more accurately, a road-and-rail novel since much of the travel happens by train . . . Her trip is a guided tour of louche life in the Prohibition-era South, replete with sensuality, racism, violence, and hypocrisy.
Brandy Wilson . . . has created an endearing heroine in Frankie . . . her passion and optimism make the novel a vibrant, engaging read. She’s the sort of character you hate to turn the last page on.” Chapter 16: A community of Tennessee Writers, Readers, & Passersby
“Frankie’s indefatigable, full-steam-ahead approach to love and life feels fittingly foolish and aptly enviable. Jean Bailey, a mesmerizing mélange of Ma Rainey, Gladys Bentley, and Bessie Smith, is stunning in her inscrutability and manifold in her masculinity. The subjects of race, sexuality, and gender are rendered robust and realistic…” Curve Magazine