Black Jesus and Other Superheroes (Paperback)

Stories (Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction)

By Venita Blackburn

University of Nebraska Press, 9781496201867, 168pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2017

List Price: 17.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, Black Jesus and Other Superheroes chronicles ordinary people achieving vivid extrasensory perception while under extreme pain. The stories tumble into a universe of the jaded and the hopeful, in which men and women burdened with unwieldy and undesirable superhuman abilities are nonetheless resilient in subtle and startling ways.

Venita Blackburn's characters hurl themselves toward the inevitable fates they might rather wish away. Their stories play with magic without the sparkle, glaring at the internal machinations of the human spirit. Fragile symbols for things such as race, sexuality, and love are lifted, decorated, and exposed to scrutiny and awe like so many ruins of our imagination. Through it all Blackburn’s characters stumble along currents of language both thoughtful and hilarious. 

 


About the Author

Venita Blackburn is an English instructor at Arizona State University. Her stories have appeared in numerous publications, including American Short Fiction, Faultline, the Georgia Review, and SmokeLong Quarterly. She was awarded a Bread Loaf fellowship and a Pushcart Prize nomination in 2014.


Praise For Black Jesus and Other Superheroes: Stories (Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction)

"Venita Blackburn makes an indelible impression with her first collection of short stories. . . . Whether she embarks on writing novels or sticks with more short work along the line of Black Jesus and Other Superheroes, Blackburn is a writer to watch, but more importantly, to read."—Peter Dabbene, Foreword starred review

— Peter Dabbene

"With thoughtful subtext and symbols that address themes of race, sexuality, family, love and (dis)ability, Blackburn’s remarkably short stories are characterized by a wild imagination and beautiful prose."—Taliah Mancini, Ms. Magazine blog

— Taliah Mancini

“Prepare! This collection bears exuberant testimony to a striking new talent. Witness here the terrific imagination of Venita Blackburn as she lays out and plays out the harm and the succor that come with family. These are short, high-octane stories, funny and dark; open this book and read the story ‘Chew’ right now! It will lead you to the rest. This is an exhilarating debut.”—Ron Carlson, author of Return to Oakpine and A Kind of Flying
 

— Ron Carlson

“Electrically alive, funny, real—this is work that just begs to be read aloud and when it is it will fill a room with crackle and ache. What a delight!”—Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
 

— Aimee Bender