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Book Talk: Blackbird Blues
CHICAGO, Illinois – The height of the Civil Rights era merges with the hauntingly beautiful swinging sounds of Chicago jazz in award-winning reporter and psychologist Jean K. Carney’s debut novel, “Blackbird Blues” (Oct. 1, 2019, Bedazzled Ink Publishing).
Following the death of her teacher and mentor Sister Michaeline, aspiring jazz singer Mary Kaye meets Lucius, Sister’s former love and father of their estranged son, Benny. The two unite to bond over their mutual loss, with Mary Kaye helping Lucius and Benny mend their fractured relationship. Decades of secrets lie behind the heartache as Mary Kaye struggles with an unwanted pregnancy that could derail her dreams.
Carney’s work as a reporter covering Roe v. Wade, her extensive research, and decades of experience as a psychologist helped her write this stunning piece of fiction with historically accurate characters so realistic it’s as if they were pulled right off the streets of Chicago during the Civil Rights era. Behind its themes of racism, abortion, and child abandonment, this heartbreaking and timely novel ponders two pressing issues of human existence: What do we owe our children? What do we owe ourselves?
JEAN K. CARNEY is the author of “Blackbird Blues” (Oct. 1, 2019, Bedazzled Ink Publishing). She spent eight years as an award-winning reporter and editorial writer at the Milwaukee Journal, covering Children’s Court, City Hall, and Roe v. Wade. She earned a Ph.D. in Human Development at the University of Chicago and trained at a large Chicago inner-city psychiatric hospital. She taught psychology at St. Xavier University, was director of a clinic that provided low-cost psychoanalytic treatment, and supervised psychologists in training for 13 years. In full-time private practice as a psychologist for 30 years in the Chicago Loop, she saw patients from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. After her husband died of ALS, she edited his last book, “Jewish Writing and the Deep Places of the Imagination,” stopped publishing in professional psychoanalytic venues, and turned to fiction. She has since remarried and is the mother of a son and a son and daughter by marriage.