Carrie, a business manager who always wanted to be a dancer, has two commitments today. She made a promise to her late father to move Cousin Ella, a former Paris café dancer, from her condemned Harlem apartment to a safe place. She’s also committed to catch a flight to Seattle with her husband for his new job. But Cousin Ella resists leaving the apartment where she’s had salons with Langston Hughes. She also has a mysterious gift that she wants Carrie to earn. If she does, a revelation about Carrie’s father and his cousin Langston Hughes will change her life.
“Dancing with Langston is one of the most beautiful, brilliant debut novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading in years. With a poet’s skill, and decades of historically important experience in publishing, Sharyn Skeeter has crafted a story that generously delivers black American history and culture, humor, a cast of vibrant, memorable characters, and a vivid portrait of one of the world’s most celebrated literary artists, Langston Hughes, who just happens to be her distant relative. But of even greater importance for this reader, her novel-—very original, very fresh, very dramatic—is a deeply moving story about the love of a daughter for a complex father she comes to fully know only after he is gone. It is about the importance of family—the ones we are born into and the ones we create and love during our journey through life. And about something we all have felt profoundly in our depths—the necessity and difficulty of following one’s dreams.” —Dr. Charles Johnson, Middle Passage
Praise and Reviews for Dancing With Langston
About the Author
Sharyn Skeeter’s novel Dancing with Langston received the 2019 Gold Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year Award in Multicultural Adult Fiction. Her anthology of contemporary short fiction, What’s Next? was published in 2023. Her poetry and articles have been published in magazines, journals, and anthologies, including: Chicago Quarterly Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Hypertext Magazine, Monkeybicycle, Fiction, Café Review, Callaloo, Connecticut River Review, Essence, Obsidian II, Pearl Magazine, Poet Lore, Re-Markings, Black Enterprise, Keeping the Faith: Writings by Contemporary Black American Women, In Search of Color Everywhere (ed. Ethelbert Miller), The Second Word Thursdays (ed. Bright Hill Press), and Our Black Sons Matter (ed. George Yancy).
After a year as an assistant in Mademoiselle magazine’s fiction and poetry department, she became fiction, poetry, book review editor at Essence magazine and, later, editor-in-chief at Black Elegance magazine. She taught elementary and junior high school in the New York City public schools. She was an instructor and assistant professor in journalism, writing, and black American literature at Emerson College, the University of Bridgeport, Fairfield University, and Three Rivers, Norwalk, and Gateway community colleges. She has given readings and participated in literary events in the United States, India, and Singapore. In Seattle, she’s a board member at Hugo House (a literary arts organization) and secretary on the board of Earth Creative (an arts organization to raise awareness about climate change). She’s a former trustee at ACT Theatre.
Dancing With Langston
by Sharyn Skeeter
FICTION / LITERARY / HISTORICAL
200 pages; 5.5 x 8.25 / Softcover
Pub Date: October 15, 2019
Distributor: IPG; also available through Follett/Baker & Taylor, Ingram, and other wholesalers.
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