Pitch perfect

June 30, 2016

David Toop surely could try harder in struggling to think about fiction about music or musicians that doesn’t ring false (“Books interview: David Toop”, Books, 23 June). There is a whole tradition of such writing in black literature that often makes the music the subject of the novel, from Ralph Ellison’s wonderful reimaginings of Louis Armstrong’s Black and Blue and Robert Johnson’s blues “Crossroads” in Invisible Man through Toni Morrison’s speakeasy joints in Jazz to Jackie Kay’s brilliant black British horn player in Trumpet. This tradition needs to be celebrated not ignored.

Alan Rice
Professor in English and American culture studies
University of Central Lancashire


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Daniel Mitchell illustration (29 June 2017)

Academics who think they can do the work of professional staff better than professional staff themselves are not showing the kind of respect they expect from others

As the pay of BBC on-air talent is revealed, one academic comes clean about his salary

Senior academics at Teesside University put at risk of redundancy as summer break gets under way

Capsized woman and boat

Early career academics can be left to sink or swim when navigating the choppy waters of learning scholarly writing. Helen Sword says a more formal, communal approach can help everyone, especially women

Thorns and butterflies

Conditions that undermine the notion of scholarly vocation – relentless work, ubiquitous bureaucracy – can cause academics acute distress and spur them to quit, says Ruth Barcan