We’re very happy to report that Craig Laurence Gidney‘s A SPECTRAL HUE is among this year’s Carl Brandon Parallax Award Honourees! The award is ‘given to works of speculative fiction created by a self-identified person of color.’
Here’s what the award committee had to say about A SPECTRAL HUE…
An art museum in a small Maryland town is the backdrop for this ghostly tale of magical realism. Gidney offers shimmering, colorful prose and a deep sense of history.
And here’s the official synopsis for the novel…
For generations, the marsh-surrounded town of Shimmer, Maryland has played host to a loose movement of African-American artists, all working in different media, but all utilizing the same haunting color. Landscape paintings, trompe l’oeil quilts, decorated dolls, mixed-media assemblages, and more, all featuring the same peculiar hue, a shifting pigment somewhere between purple and pink, the color of the saltmarsh orchid, a rare and indigenous flower.
Graduate student Xavier Wentworth has been drawn to Shimmer, hoping to study the work of artists like quilter Hazel Whitby and landscape painter Shadrach Grayson in detail, having experienced something akin to an epiphany when viewing a Hazel Whitby tapestry as a child. Xavier will find that others, too, have been drawn to Shimmer, called by something more than art, something in the marsh itself, a mysterious, spectral hue.
The novel received a glowing review from NPR when it was released: ‘The book’s plot opens gradually, like petals on a flower, but Gidney masterfully orchestrates this slow reveal. Jumping between characters and decades, an intricate pattern begins to reveal itself… A wondrous pondering of art, memory, race, and history, Gidney’s novel is a trompe l’oeil tapestry in its own right.’