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The Gilda’s Stories, by Jewelle Gomez

May 4, 2016

The Gilda’s Stories, by Jewelle Gomez.   City Lights Publishers (2016), Edition: Anniversary ed., 288 pages.

3 stars

Unusual stories of a slave girl who ran away and joined a group of benevolent vampires as she searches for community and caring with humans and other vampires.

Jewelle Gomez has published poetry, fiction, essays and plays.  She has also lectured and taught widely and been active in the literary world administrating a variety of projects.  She first published The Gilda Stories twenty years ago and was awarded the Lambda prize for it.

When a slave girl escaped, she was rescued by a kindly woman who brought her into her own community of women. Eventually she transforms the girl into a vampire and names her Gilda after herself.  Gilda goes on to travel across time and place as a black woman vampire who, like other vampires in her group, always gives something to those from whom she takes blood.  Because she is so long-lived, relations with humans are difficult.  Yet Gilda seems very human in her attempts to find or create a place for herself in specific American locations.  Some of those she loves are other women.

Although vampire stories can only be fantasy, The Gilda Stories succeed in conveying what it has been like to live through American history as a black woman lesbian.

I recommend this book to readers with the imagination to appreciate black vampires.



2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2016 6:46 pm

    I do like the sound of this book! I’ve always enjoyed vampire stories but have not read many about black vampires. It’s right up my alley.

  2. May 5, 2016 12:47 pm

    Omg.yes this has been on my tbr for ages. Have to wait for the reprint to finally get my hands on a copy! Black lesbian vampires, woot!

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