Go Find Your Father/ A Famous Blues Harmony Holiday Gold Line Press $16
Harmony Holiday’s Go Find Your Father/A Famous Blues is a curious compendium of mesmerizing montages derived from memory, nimbly memorializing a melodious, near musical-refrain, “imagining is remembering”, that creates an indelible, sonorous and syncretic impact on the reader’s mind. Holiday injects a generous modicum of vigorous energy in the text by tracing the roots of the Black myth through the ages and compiling a mythopoeic, subtly revelatory web of entrancing yarns, gutting and riveting in equal measure, authentic, raw, polyvalent and streaked with glorious nostalgia. Holiday’s various moods as borne by her authorial persona, her delicate, dexterous, deifying epistolary epistles, despite mythologizing and edifying her father, Jimmie Holiday, to at times caricaturish and stilted proportions, imbuing the ongoing psychodrama with unnecessary bathos, magnificently succeeds in evoking the grandeur of a bygone era. It is in the meticulous creation of a fascinating world of blues, the contextualizing of a girl’s psychic journey in the intricate tapestry of a surcharged musical ethos, that Holiday transcends the spatio-temporal limits imposed by the text on the page. Holiday effortlessly weaves together a world out of the ambiguous fruits of mutative memory, enthralling the reader with anecdotal references, charming poetic fallacies, paeans replete with fantastic lore, and a synesthetic text that bleeds into music.
REVIEW BY ANEESHA ROY