If any writer deliberately proceeded throughout his career to almost ensure his work would be ignored by critics and publishers, it would have to be Harold Jaffe. Jaffe has steadfastly continued to write fiction that is formally and conceptually adventurous while at the same time advancing a radical sociopolitical critique that portrays US culture in the most starkly unfavorable light.
Harold Jaffe’s revised futurist novel Othello Blues will be published by JEF Books in December 2013. Please stay tuned for publication news, and browse the contents below. Critics have said:
Othello Blues is a classic.
Nobody does what Jaffe does. There are just pale imitations.
A Novel by Harold Jaffe
In memory of Robert Johnson, bluesman, 1912-1938
Gillette Gillette: A corporate money manager
Otis Crawford: [Black] blues musician, founder of Crawfish / insurrectionist
Iago: A blues musician / Machiavel
Michael Cassio: [Cajun] blues musician
Desdemona: Daughter to Gillette Gillette / wife to Otis
Son Chatmon: [Black] blues musician
Rosetta Nurse: [Black] insurrectionist / mistress to Son Chatmon
Emily: Mistress to Iago
Blanca: [Puerto Rican] ‘exotic dancer’ / mistress to Cassio
Jim Bob: An out-of-work musician / gulled by Iago
Baum: [Jewish] booking agent for Crawfish
Swen: A restaurateur / mocker of Iago
The Body : [also known as the corporate fathers]
The mega-rich in their bunkers
The miscellaneous poor
Scene: The U.S. dominion
Time: 20 minutes into the future
Trying to republish my revised version of Othello Blues which came out in a limited edition in the late 90s and received a very favorable critical reception.
Out of print and rewritten, Othello Blues is a speculative novel set “20 minutes into the future,” with attention paid to a kind of syncopated rhythm, in which the Othello gang — Othello, Iago, Cassio, Desdemona — have been turned into blues musicians in a broken world resembling this one. Lots of blues lyrics that I’ve conceived and, though following the original Othello trajectory, easy to read.