So I’ve been revising Rook, and one of the things I’ve been wanting (and struggling) to do is to get more of the Harlem Renaissance into the story. The struggle is in working it into the plot, since the characters are more or less removed from the world they live in since everyone they meet forgets them the second they look away.
I had planned to go more into Harlem in general in the second book, but I found the perfect opportunity to have Nora experience a taste of the rich culture she’s living in, and found a really awesome person that I think everyone would enjoy reading about.
I’ll paraphrase a few bits, but definitely do check out the full article here!
This is Gladys Bentley. She performed at a club called the Clam House in the ’20s in Harlem, right off 133rd, and was known for her signature tuxedo, mad piano skills, her habit of flirting with women in the audience during a performance, and of course her back-up dancers, also in drag.
I would love to see a musical about her life, honestly. Can you imagine? That would be beyond fabulous.
I’m not sure if she’ll make an appearance in Rook yet, but I really would love to include her. We’ll see how the cookie crumbles. Stay tuned!