The Ballad of Black Tom—the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, World Fantasy, and Bram Stoker Award finalist and Shirley Jackson and British Fantasy Award-winning excavation of Lovecraftian mythos by Victor LaValle—is given new life in a brand-new hardcover edition.
“Full of rage and passion.”—The New York Times
People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn't there.
Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father's head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.
A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?
“This ingenious recasting of an H.P. Lovecraft classic is as creepy as it is thought-provoking.”—People
“The Ballad of Black Tom stands on its own as a compelling weird tale of Jazz-age New York City, but its penetrating examination of Lovecraft’s creations and how they reflect racism’s profound influence on our cultural imagination is where it really shines.”—Slate
“Shirley Jackson Award–winner LaValle cleverly retcons H.P. Lovecraft’s infamous story “The Horror at Red Hook,” retelling it with a new protagonist (the titular Charles Thomas Tester, a splendidly Lovecraftian name) and a literary veneer that recalls Chester Himes.”—Publishers Weekly
“Wonderfully creepy and impossible to put down, The Ballad of Black Tom is a genre-bending must-read.”—BuzzFeed
“LaValle’s ingenious project involves co-opting Lovecraft’s epic-scale paranoia into the service of a trickster tale.”—Locus
“Whether The Ballad of Black Tom is approached as a straightforward tale of horror in the early 20th century or as a metafictional commentary on Lovecraft’s own storytelling choices and racism, it succeeds. It also stands as proof that the process of engaging with the conflicted feelings that the work of Lovecraft can prompt can lead to rewarding, emotionally compelling writing of its own.”—Electric Literature