The Final Revival of Opal and Nev (Large Print / Library Binding)
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"The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton is an incredible debut! A fictional oral history of an iconic inter-racial rock duo from the 70's follows their meteoric rise to fame through the catastrophic final concert that changed the lives of those involved. Years after Opal and Nev went their separate ways, there is a reunion in the making, and music journalist S. Sunny Shelton is interviewing the duo and the players from the past, who all have a story to tell. Told through the perspective of various characters, Walton captures the voices, the culture, and the social issues of the time that still ring true today. Intriguing, well developed characters inhabit this powerful tale, and there's a Spotify playlist!"--Reviewed by Susan
A poignant fictional oral history of the beloved rock 'n' roll duo who shot to fame in the 1970s New York, and the dark, fraught secret that lies at the peak of their stardom. Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can't imagine settling for a 9-to-5 job--despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar's amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records. In early seventies New York City, just as she's finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal's bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth. Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo's most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything. Provocative and chilling, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev features a backup chorus of unforgettable voices, a heroine the likes of which we've not seen in storytelling, and a daring structure, and introduces a bold new voice in contemporary fiction.
About the Author
Dawnie Walton is a fiction writer and journalist whose work explores identity, place, and the influence of pop culture. She has won fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Tin House Summer Workshop, and earned her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Previously she worked as an executive-level editor for magazine and multimedia brands including Essence, Entertainment Weekly, Getty Images, and LIFE. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, she lives with her husband in Brooklyn.