An African in Imperial London
OFFICIAL BOOK TRAILER
In 1904, West African writer A.B.C. Merriman-Labor moved to London in 1904 to make his mark on the world’s greatest literary stage.
What happened there changed everything he thought he knew.
In a world dominated by the British Empire, at a time when many Europeans considered black people inferior, African writer A. B. C. Merriman-Labor claimed his right to describe the world as he found it. He looked at the greatest city in the greatest empire the world had ever known and laughed. An African in Imperial London is the first biography of this forgotten pioneer of African literature and a rich portrait of a great metropolis, writhing its way into a new century of appalling social inequity, world-transforming inventions, and unprecedented demands for civil rights.
I was wrong. I thought that reading from my book to an enthusiastic audience at the British Library would the pinnacle of my literary life. We are talking the British Library. Home of 150 million items, including the Magna Carta, Da Vinci’s notebooks, even the...read more
14,0 Today is the official UK publication date of An African in Imperial London: The Indomitable Life of A.B.C. Merriman-Labor. When I got up in the morning, there was a rush of twitter posts from my literary agency Artellus and my publisher Hurst. Oh my! What a rush...read more
On Sunday afternoon, we took a little break from the history talks and wandered the Wimpole Estate. You can’t help but admire the soaring architecture, the elegant lines, the glorious artwork, and the amazing 6,000-volume library inside the Hall. But what really...read more
As you might remember, I wrote my last blog sitting in the shade of an ancient oak, sipping my afternoon tea. As I wrote church bells began to ring. Do I have a treat for you. If you are driving pull over. If you are at your desk, save your document. If the phone...read more
Hitting the Ground There is a truth every international traveler should acknowledge: an arrival time is always aspirational. After long flight days, rerouting around thunderstorms, slow immigration lines, and a four-hour drive to the west, Tim and I arrived in...read more
My British Book Tour For the last seven years, as I researched and wrote An African in Imperial London: The Indomitable Life of A.B.C. Merriman-Labor, I knew I loved the story of Merriman-Labor, but I had no idea if anyone else would. Turns out, lots of people are...read more
So, this is cool! My essay I for A Reading of Their Own, on June 21, 2017, an event sponsored by Billings Area Literary Arts, has now been published by 1888 Center. How great is that? Sound interesting? You can read it below. Why I Write Danell Jones Why did...read more
My first book, The Virginia Woolf Writers’ Workshop,
takes an imaginative look at the iconic British writer. Although there are numerous biographies of Woolf, mine is the only one to focus on her ideas about the craft of writing. Keenly aware of the joy, labor, and mystery of the writing process, Woolf took pains to record the practices she found most valuable. Through scrupulous research across the body of her work—including her diaries, letters, essays, and fiction—I sought to create a fresh vision of this famous writer as a woman with an enchanting sense of humor whose observations about her craft are as relevant today as they were when she wrote then nearly a century ago.
A little bit about me.
I grew up in the Mojave Desert just east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a land of alfalfa farms, dirt bikes, rattle snakes, one-gas-station towns, and big sky. Now I live in Montana, just north of the Beartooth Mountains, a land of sage-brush prairie, ATVs, cattle ranches, one-gas-station towns, and very, very big sky.
Although I am now a full-time writer, I still teach a class or two at Montana State University Billings, lead a regular seminar on Shakespeare’s plays for community members, and offer creative writing workshops throughout the year.