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


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