Today is the official release date of Deadly Woman Blues. It’s only now that I put it that way I realize it’s my first all-new book for five years, since The Wizard of Oz in 2013, which seems like an absolute age ago. The new Buried Country came out in 2015, but as much as its great amount of expansion entailed a great amount of work, it was still built on an existing foundation. And then the latest edition of Highway to Hell came out in 2016. But Deadly Woman Blues – it’s something I’ve been nurturing, on and off, since, well, Buried Country first came out nearly twenty years ago, and so for it to be coming out now, in a form that’s pretty much exactly the way I always envisaged it (credit for which and with great thanks for goes to NewSouth), it’s just such a pleasure, to hold the finished product in my hands, to see it in bookshops, as you can see here, today, at my local Gleeboox at Dulwich Hill:
Deadly Woman Blues is my tenth book, a graphic history of black women in Australian music, the sort of sister-sequel to Buried Country, and I’m even more than usually excited about it because it’s a graphic history, a book I’ve illustrated as well as written, and as such marks my return to the art where I actually started in the first place. I dropped out of art school in Brisbane in the mid-1970s to follow my nose and start writing about music, and it’s really via Deadly Woman Blues that I’ve gotten back to art, and so immensely satisfyingly so that my standard line now is, I hope to end my days painting, picking up where I left off over forty years ago…
For more information on the book itself you can check my page on it here, or - and to buy as well - go to NewSouth Books’ page here. That it’s a book about a fairly secret history that will hopefully reveal that history to a broad audience is something else I’m very excited to be doing.
The book has gotten out of the blocks with a first nice little notice in Books + Publishing, which is reproduced below.
It will be launched with a clutch of events in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne with thanks due, again, to the lovely folks at NewSouth. Those events are:
On February 21 in Sydney, I’ll be ‘In Conversation’ with the lovely Natalie Ahmat at Gleeboox in Glebe, for bookings go here
On March 9 in Brisbane, I’ll be ‘In Conversation’ with the lovely Alathea Beetson at the Avid Reader in the West End, for bookings go here
And on March 19 in Melbourne, though it’s not quite as yet confirmed, I’ll probably be at Readings in St.Kilda, but stay tuned for final details on that one
And for people in Sydney, tomorrow, February 2, you can tune into ABC Radio Sydney at 11am to hear me chatting on Focus with the lovely Cassie McCullagh; you can stream it live on-line here