Venita Blackburn is the author of the story collection Black Jesus and Other Superheroes, which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and was a finalist for the 2018 Young Lions Fiction Award and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. Her stories have appeared in The Paris Review, Pleiades, Madison Review, Bat City Review, American Short Fiction, and Bellevue Literary Review. She is a faculty member in the creative writing program at Fresno State University and the founder and president of Live, Write, an organization devoted to offering free creative writing workshops for communities of color.
credit: Virginia Barnes
"Dead in Long Beach, California is somehow both tender and incredibly sharp. It's mesmerizing in its ability to twist inward on itself; a genuine ouroboros of pain and loss. Venita Blackburn's writing here is profoundly gorgeous. At every turn, I found myself split between laughter and tears. An incredible look at how we work to divert the flow of grief, only to find those tributaries suddenly rejoined without our consent, the pain we wished to avoid flowing directly back to us. This book rewired my brain; it's a bonafide knockout."
Kristen Arnett, author of With Teeth
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