New Feature: Booklite – Joplin’s Ghost

I just realized that I had yet to post about one of the things I enjoy most about life: books! Check out the ‘Booklite’ section from time to time to check out my thoughts and musings on books. First up:


Review of Joplin’s Ghost(author: Tananarive Due)



This book takes the reader on an emotional and sensually detailed journey into the world of a rocker-turned-pop R & B singer’s rise to popularity made tumultuous by the haunting of Scott Joplin’s ghost.

Ms. Due weaves a nuanced storyline that brings the reader into Joplin’s struggles with being a dignified, world-class composer and musician denied by racism the renown and fortune his talent deserved. As syphilis claimed his body, he was increasingly tortured with the sounds of future compositions and an unyielding grief and desire for his second and most beloved wife, Freddie, who died from pneumonia only a month after they wed. He teetered on the edge of sanity as the music that lived in his heart always waiting to be born battled with obsolete fingers unable to write compositions or bring them to life on his piano due to the disease. By connecting with Phoenix, Joplin is ultimately able to reintroduce some of his forgotten works and present previously unheard arrangements to the world.

rendering of Scott Joplin

Even as Joplin encumbers on Phoenix rise to stardom, the journey teaches her a hard earned lesson in honoring her talents and trusting her intuition in sharing them. Due has written a book that speculates on the boundaries and limitations of our ancestors participating in our lives and on the sacred power of mundane objects – complete with psychics and authentically skeptical characters alike. I finished the book mourning the personal tragedies of a musical genius heretofore exalted – to reification – and hopeful about what his humanity and triumphs can mean about all of our futures. Unlike the layered plotlines and situationally-driven works of her past works, this novel is lissome; sensitively written with bittersweet, heartrending, and uplifting ebbs and flows throughout.



~ by Anayah on November 19, 2006.

One Response to “New Feature: Booklite – Joplin’s Ghost”

  1. Such a good site! Really helpful and informative.

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