Joe Okonkwo

Author of Jazz Moon:
WINNER: 2016 Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction
Finalist: 2016 Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Fiction

Jazz Moon Earns ANOTHER Fantastic Endorsement

I'm extremely pleased to announce that Jazz Moon has received another exuberant endorsement. This one is from James Smalls Ph.D. He is an art historian specializing in race, gender, and gay sexuality in art and visual culture. He teaches at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I'm very grateful for Dr. Smalls' endorsement.

"Joe Okonkwo’s Jazz Moon has it all: drama, intrigue, gay sex and romance, crime, drugs, alcohol, poetry, blues, love and betrayal, ecstatic joy, lost dreams, regrets, and redemption. The story transports the reader back to a time of guarded liberation in an underground world full of indulgences, expectations and compulsions to fulfill them. It is a richly human and poignant story about all of us. With commitment and compassion, the author deposits the reader back in time as he takes us on a roller coaster ride of human experiences and emotions. He conjures an alluring, nostalgic, sentimental, but also tragic atmosphere of black gay Harlem and Paris during the heyday of the Jazz Age. Through its emotionally and psychologically complicated protagonist, an aspiring poet named Ben Charles, the narrative dramatizes what we already know, or more precisely, what we think we know about Harlem and Paris during the 1920s. The reader does not have to be gay or black, or gay and black, to empathize with the human aspects and complications of fraught intimate relationships from folks of varying racial and cultural backgrounds."—James Smalls Ph.D., author of Gay Art and The Homoerotic Photography of Carl Van Vechten: Public Face, Private Thoughts