Synopses & Reviews
In Blue Dancing, Diane McKinney-Whitestone and present, character and place with a transfixing lyricism that shimmers in its detail.This richly spun story of love, passion, betrayal, and redemption shifts seamlessly between modern-day and 70's Philadelphia when Verdi, the pampered daughter of a prosperous southern preacher, enrolls at the local university.Immediately drawn to Johnson, a fellow student whose city-smart ways are as intriguing as they are shocking, Verdi spirals into an unfamiliar world of erotic love, militant politics, and heroin.Enter Rowe, the conservative professor who rescues Verdi from her addiction even as he falls hopelessly in love with her himself.
Twenty years later, as the novel opens, Verdi and Rowe's comfortable, if unexciting, existence is rocked when Johnson returns to town-and Verdi must grapple with the memories of her old love and the assurance of her new life.Smooth as jazz, belted out with McKinney-Whetstone's signature rhythm and intensity, Blues Dancing is both poignant and compelling, brilliantly capturing the desperate struggle to reconcile passion with accountability and the redemptive powers of love's rediscovery.
Verdi, daughter of a Southern preacher, comes to Philadelphia in the 1970s and enrolls at the university. She meets Johnson, a poor, irresistible and militant student who teaches her about many things -- including how to love heroin. Verdi is rescued by a professor who falls in love with her. Twenty years later, Johnson reenters Verdi's life.
For the last twenty years, the beautiful Verdi Mae has led a comfortable life with Rowe, the conservative professor who rescued her from addiction when she was an undergrad. But her world is about to shift when the smell of butter lingers in the air and Johnson -- the boy from the back streets of Philadelphia who pulled her into the fire of passion and all the shadows cast from it -- returns to town.
In "this story of self-discovery that moves seamlessly between the early 1970s and early 1990s" (Publishers Weekly starred review), acclaimed writer Diane McKinney-Whetstone takes readers into a world of erotic love, drugs, and political activism, and beautifully illustrates the struggle to reconcile passion with accountability and the redemptive powers of love's rediscovery.
About the Author
Diane McKinney-Whetstone is the author of the national bestseller Tumbling. A native of Philadelphia whose father served two terms as a Pennsylvania stare senator, she grew up in a close-knit family with five sisters and one brother, attending public schools and graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in English. She is a regular contributor to Philadelphia Magazine and her work has appeared in Essence and the Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine; She has received numerous awards, including a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant, Discipline Winner in the Pew Fellowship on the Arts, the Zora Neale flurston Society Award for creative contribution to litera-ture, a Citation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for her portrayal of urban family life as presented in Tumbling, Author of the Year Award from the national Go On Girl Book Club, and more. She has participated regularly in the intensive Rittenhouse Writer's Workshops and reaches fiction writing at her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. She lives with her husband, Greg, and teenage twins outside Philadelphia.