I met up with the author Courttia Newland as he introduced his latest offering ‘A Book of Blues’ in Lewisham, South East London. Read out aloud and accompanied by an hypnotic melody provided by local saxophonist Jimmy Beckley, the combination of words and music merged with great effect. The author read intriguing extracts of his work, a collection of short stories which explore a variety of different scenarios, where relationships and human frailties are examined. From Miami to Victorian London, his vivid characters directs the reader smoothly around emotional corners and through to each story’s conclusion. In addition, an extract was also read from his unfinished sci-fi story and there was a short Q&A session where Courttia was refreshingly open. What is still evident is the author’s deep connection to all forms of music, especially hip hop and jazz. ‘A Book of Blues’ investigates the lives of ordinary characters, bringing a sharp realism to the proceedings and with the saxophone playing in the background, it all made sense.
A Book of Blues is available here.