The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022
- 6,99 лв.
- 6,99 лв.
ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVOURITE BOOKS OF 2021
LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE 2022
'A thrilling work' Ta-Nehisi Coates
'Lovely and lyrical . . . warm and wonderful' Kiley Reid
A queen of punk before her time. A duo on the brink of stardom. A night that will define their story for ever.
Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, a Black punk artist before her time. Despite her unconventional looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her one night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together.
In early seventies New York City, just as she's finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal's bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially Black women, who dare to speak their truth.
Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo's most politicized chapter, but as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens everything.
Provocative and haunting, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev introduces a bold new name in contemporary fiction and a heroine the likes of which we've not seen in storytelling.
'An absolutely brilliant book' SARA COLLINS
'Musical and revolutionary' JASON REYNOLDS
'A marvellous musical tale of friendship, betrayal, and the power that comes with self-reclamation' LAYLA SAAD
'Fantastic . . . Magical' ZAKIYA DALILA HARRIS
'A packed time capsule that doubles as a stick of dynamite' NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
'An absorbing tale bursting with colour' COSMOPOLITAN
'One of the books of the year' STYLIST
'An utterly fresh take on finding one's voice' O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Written from the perspective of a journalist penning an oral history of two cult musicians in the 1960s and ’70s, this is a hypnotic and utterly unputdownable read. Opal Jewel, a young Black woman, aspiring New York punk artist and a compelling, unguarded force of nature, is the book’s star—through her, Dawnie Walton is able to shine a light on the reality for Black women in a white-dominated rock scene. Opal and her musical partner (British folk singer/songwriter Neville Charles) are set to break out in the early 1970s, until she protests a racist demonstration by a band on her label and faces monstrous repercussions. Fast-forward to 2016, and journalist S. Sunny Shelton attempts to weave together their stories as the pair consider a reunion. Walton pulls off an ambitious premise—it’s a real mix of music journalism, shocking thriller-style twists and incendiary social history—with astonishing confidence and rare flair.
Walton's spectacular debut pulls off a polyphonic oral history of a fictional proto-Afro-punk performer and her white musical partner. The novel begins with the sensational origin story of unlikely duo Opal & Nev, described by magazine editor S. Sunny Curtis in 2017 as the "progenitors of dissidence and dissonance." After Opal Jewel arrives in New York City from Detroit in 1970, where she'd been an outcast for her radical politics, fashion, and musical style, she meets "goofy white English boy" Nev Charles, a songwriter from Birmingham, at an open mic. Nev is impressed by her performance, and the two team up to produce a phenomenally successful sound. Their star quickly rises, but after a photo appears in 1971 showing Opal blanketed in a Confederate flag as Nev carries her away from a gig turned riot, their career flames out in controversy. The novel's diverse group of voices are cobbled together by Curtis as she searches for the truth behind the iconic "picture of chaos." The story is also personal for Curtis her father, a drummer, had been having an affair with Opal, and he was killed in the melee. The novel is bookended by an equally violent reunion that confirms a shocking secret, and Opal proves herself the champion of the "marginalized, bullied, discriminated against." Walton pumps up the volume with a fresh angle on systemic racism and freedom of expression. This is a firecracker.