Black Jesus and Other Superheroes

Black Jesus and Other Superheroes

Stories

Venita Blackburn

Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction Series

168 pages

Paperback

September 2017

978-1-4962-0186-7

$17.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, Black Jesus and Other Superheroes chronicles ordinary people achieving vivid extrasensory perception while under extreme pain. The stories tumble into a universe of the jaded and the hopeful, in which men and women burdened with unwieldy and undesirable superhuman abilities are nonetheless resilient in subtle and startling ways.

Venita Blackburn's characters hurl themselves toward the inevitable fates they might rather wish away. Their stories play with magic without the sparkle, glaring at the internal machinations of the human spirit. Fragile symbols for things such as race, sexuality, and love are lifted, decorated, and exposed to scrutiny and awe like so many ruins of our imagination. Through it all Blackburn’s characters stumble along currents of language both thoughtful and hilarious. 

 

Author Bio

Venita Blackburn is an English instructor at Arizona State University. Her stories have appeared in numerous publications, including American Short Fiction, Faultline, the Georgia Review, and SmokeLong Quarterly. She was awarded a Bread Loaf fellowship and a Pushcart Prize nomination in 2014.

Praise

"Venita Blackburn makes an indelible impression with her first collection of short stories. . . . Whether she embarks on writing novels or sticks with more short work along the line of Black Jesus and Other Superheroes, Blackburn is a writer to watch, but more importantly, to read."—Peter Dabbene, Foreword starred review

“Prepare! This collection bears exuberant testimony to a striking new talent. Witness here the terrific imagination of Venita Blackburn as she lays out and plays out the harm and the succor that come with family. These are short, high-octane stories, funny and dark; open this book and read the story ‘Chew’ right now! It will lead you to the rest. This is an exhilarating debut.”—Ron Carlson, author of Return to Oakpine and A Kind of Flying
 

“Electrically alive, funny, real—this is work that just begs to be read aloud and when it is it will fill a room with crackle and ache. What a delight!”—Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
 

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments    
Black Jesus    
Brim        
A Savior, Belief, Tupac, and Balloons    
We Buy Gold    
The Hurt Will Make You Stronger    
Chew        
Take Me to the Water    
In the Middle of Everything There Are Ribbons of Light    
String Theory    
A Brief Excerpt from the History of Salt    
Ephemeros    
Dog People    
Barbers    
End of the World    
Ways to Mourn an Asshole    
Rites        
They Only Look Like They’re Smiling    
The Immolator    
There Are No Ninjas in the End    
Hold ’til Warm    
Ravished    
Not Like You, Not at All    
The Annie Oakley Gun Training for Women    
Scars        
Run Away Screaming