For Black, a mural artist in East L.A., the city's tumbledown landscape is his canvas. Residing in a ramshackle apartment above 'The Ugly Store', he lives for his art and obsesses over Sweet Girl, the transvestite stripper who serves as his muse. Black navigates life alongside the Los Angeles River, 'iridescent in its concrete sleeve', enlisting his friends - Iggy, the beautiful tattoo artist who has beguiled Hollywood's elite, and Bomboy, a wealthy Rwandan butcher - as he confronts his past and struggles to find his place in the world.
Chris Abani touches on the far reaches of psychic pain, religious and sexual, and takes the reader on an unforgettable journey.
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"Chris Abani reveals Los Angeles as we have never seen it before - magical and crumbling, a place of deserted rooftop oases and intersections where new identities are bought and sold. He has rewritten our American story and brought the world into our streets" (Walter Mosely)
"Contains moments of real tenderness and beauty" ( New Statesmen)
"Abani is as adept at portraying [Black's] humanity as he is at portraying the richness of his city. The Virgin of the Flames is fully of beauty and insight. Suspenseful, too" (Jane Smiley Guardian)
"Abani [is] a fluid, closely observant writer" ( Washington Post)
"A powerful, scary and beautiful novel. Abani is a force to be reckoned with, a world-class novelist" (Russell Banks)
In this edgy and beautiful novel, Los Angeles is filled with indelible images, unforgettable characters and brought to life through Abani's lush, punky prose.
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Book Description Vintage, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 304 pages. 7.76x5.12x0.75 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk009951592X