The Magic of Theater Is Real in Redwood and Wildfire by Andrea Hairston

Blues singers, filmmakers, haints, healers, romance, and magic from Georgia to Chicago!

We’re thrilled to reveal the cover for Andrea Hairston’s Redwood and Wildfire—arriving February 1, 2022 from Tordotcom Publishing.

“This book is an affirmation of the power of joy to transform the world.” —Nisi Shawl

Blues singers, filmmakers, haints, healers, romance, and magic from Georgia to Chicago!

At the turn of the 20th century, minstrel shows transform into vaudeville, which slides into moving pictures. Hunkering together in dark theatres, diverse audiences marvel at flickering images. This “dreaming in public” becomes common culture and part of what transforms immigrants and “native” born into Americans.

Redwood, an African American woman, and Aidan, a Seminole Irish man, journey from Georgia to Chicago, from haunted swampland to a “city of the future.” They are gifted performers and hoodoo conjurors, struggling to call up the wondrous world they imagine, not just on stage and screen, but on city streets, in front parlors, in wounded hearts. The power of hoodoo is the power of the community that believes in its capacities to heal and determine the course of today and tomorrow.

Living in a system stacked against them, Redwood and Aidan’s power and talent are torment and joy. Their search for a place to be who they want to be is an exhilarating, painful, magical adventure.

Design by Jamie Stafford-Hill; Cover photographs by Fred Ortyl; Kristina Kokhanova; Cultura Creative RF/ Alamy Stock Photo; vystekimages / Shutterstock.com

Andrea Hairston is a novelist, essayist, playwright, and the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre. She is the author of Redwood and Wildfire, winner of the 2011 Otherwise Award and the Carl Brandon Kindred Award, and Mindscape, shortlisted for the Philip K Dick and Otherwise Awards, and winner of the Carl Brandon Parallax Award. In her spare time, she is the Louise Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor of Theatre and Afro-American Studies at Smith College. She has received the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts Distinguished Scholarship Award for outstanding contributions to the criticism of the fantastic. She bikes at night year-round, meeting bears, multi-legged creatures of light and breath, and the occasional shooting star.

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