A pulsating, powerful tale of the blues, from one of the great American writers of the twentieth century
It is Chicago in the 1950s and Manfred Banks has the Dirty Bird Blues. A musician and a blue-collar worker, he feels hard the tug of his two responsibilities: those to his wife and child, and those to rhythm and rhyme, to the lyrics that groove a hollow in his mind. Beneath both is the awful grinding racism Manfred meets on streets each day; that which plucks opportunity from his grasp; that which keeps him wandering in search of fresh starts. And so, in want of easy answers, he turns to the ‘Dirty Bird’: Old Crow brand whiskey.
One of Clarence Major’s most influential novels, Dirty Bird Blues is both an extraordinary portrayal of twentieth-century Black reality, and an ode to the richness and power of the blues.