Chesya Burke

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Chesya Burke
ChesyaBurke.png
Occupation Writer
Language English
Nationality American
Citizenship United States
Genres Horror fiction
Dark fantasy
Notable work Let's Play White

Chesya Burke is an editor, educator and author of comic books and speculative fiction, most notably horror and dark fantasy.[1][2] She has published over a hundred short stories, essays, and articles in magazines and anthologies such as Clarkesworld, Nightmare Magazine, and Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany.[3] Her short story collection Let's Play White was published in 2011 while her debut novel, The Strange Crimes of Little Africa, was released in late 2015. Nikki Giovanni has compared Burke's fiction to that of Octavia Butler and Toni Morrison.[4]

Life[edit]

Burke grew up in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. She earned a double major in Africana Studies and English from Agnes Scott College and a Masters in African-American studies from Georgia State University. Her master's thesis was on Storm from The X-Men. Burke is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in English at the University of Florida.[5] She is active in literary and feminist communities, for example serving as co-chair of the Board of Directors of Charis Circle, the nonprofit programming arm of Charis Books & More, Atlanta's independent feminist bookstore.[6]

Fiction[edit]

Burke's first full-length short story collection Let's Play White was published in 2011 by Apex Publications. The collection was favorably reviewed in the Midwest Book Review,[7] Austin Post[8] and Publishers Weekly, which said "If the urban realism doesn't always seem quite realistic, the depth of Burke's characters, the weight of their decisions, and their choices make this the very opposite of escapist fantasy."[9]

Burke's debut novel The Strange Crimes of Little Africa was published in late 2015 by RothCo Press.[10] The novel is a mystery set during the 1920s Harlem Renaissance and features a Black detective[11] who realizes "she may have to sacrifice her cousin's freedom when she discovers evidence that her father, the first black traffic cop on the force, may be guilty of murder."[12] The novel features an appearance by a fictional version of Zora Neale Hurston.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Burke is known for blending different genres together with her writings.[12] Reviewers have praised Burke's fiction, with the Barnes and Nobles Book Club calling her writing "mesmerizing -- there is an undeniable lyricism there but also a tangible darkness and pain."[13] Samuel R. Delany called her a "formidable new master of the macabre" while poet Nikki Giovanni has compared Burke's writing to that of Octavia Butler and Toni Morrison[4]

A class of undergraduate English students at Michigan State University created a website analyzing the themes of her short story collection through the lens of Black feminism, as embodied in the work of Patricia Hill Collins and Barbara Christian.[14]

Nonfiction and editing[edit]

Burke has written essays and articles for a number of magazines and anthologies, including Clarkesworld, Nightmare Magazine, and the African American National Biography Project.[5]

Bibliography[edit]

Novels[edit]

  • The Strange Crimes of Little Africa, RothCo Press (December 2015)

Collections and anthologies[edit]

  • Let's Play White, Apex Publications (2011)

Critical work[edit]

  • "The H Word: The H is for Harassment (a/k/a Horror's Misogyny Problem)," Nightmare Magazine (2014)[15]
  • "Super Duper Sexual Spiritual Black Woman," Clarkesworld (2012)[16]
  • "Race and the Walking Dead" (2011)

Short stories[edit]

  • "Shiv", Outside, a graphic anthology of new horror fiction with art by Jennifer Y Cruté, Ash Pure and Topics Press (2017)
  • "In the Quad of Project 327," Cassilda's Song edited by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. (forthcoming in 2016)
  • "Cut. Pour.", The Daughters of Inanna, Thunderstorm Books (2015)
  • "For Sale: Fantasy Coffin (Ababuo Need Not Apply)," Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany (2015)[3]
  • "Please, Momma," Nightmare Magazine (2015)
  • "I Make People Do Bad Things," Nightmare Magazine (2014)
  • "The Horror at Castle Cumberland," Letters to Lovecraft: Eighteen Whispers to the Darkness, Stone Skin Press (2014)
  • "Mountaintown," Shadows Over Main Street edited by Doug Murano & D. Alexander Ward, Hazardous Press (2014)
  • "The Teachings and Redemptions of Ms. Fannie Lou Mason," Apex Publications, (2011)
  • "CUE: Change," Apex Publications, (2011)
  • "Purse," Apex Publications, (2011)
  • "What She Saw When They Flew Away," Apex Publications, (2011)
  • "I Make People Do Bad Things," Apex Publications, (2011)
  • "Walter and the Three-Legged King," Apex Publications, (2011)
  • "The Unremembered," Dark Faith (2010)
  • "My Sister's Keeper," Whispers in the Night edited by Brandon Massey, Dafina Press (2007)
  • "The Light of Cree," Voices From the Other Side (2006)
  • "He Who Takes Away the Pain," Dark Dreams (2004)
  • "The Room Where Ben Disappeared," Would That It Were (2004)
  • "Chocolate Park," Undaunted Press (2004)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Your First Glimpse of a New Voice in African American Horror, Chesya Burke". io9. Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Interview with Kiini Ibura Salaam and Chesya Burke". Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Discover Delight, Ingenuity and Joy with Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany! by Leah Schnelbach". Tor.com. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Let's Play White". Apex Publications. Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Meet Chesya Burke". RothCo Press. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Charis Circle Board of Directors | Charis Books & More and Charis Circle". www.charisbooksandmore.com. Retrieved 2015-10-23. 
  7. ^ "Review of Let's Play White". Midwest Book Review. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  8. ^ Iglesias, Gabino. "Review". Austin Post. Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Let's Play White". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Meet Chesya Burke". RothCo Press. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Chesya Burke talks Zora Neale Hurston and The Strange Crimes of Little Africa". RothCo Press. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c "Author Spotlight: Chesya Burke by Erika Holt". Nightmare Magazine. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Let's Play White". Apex Publications. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Exploring the Work of Chesya Burke". Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  15. ^ "The H Word: The H is for Harassment (a/k/a Horror's Misogyny Problem)". Nightmare Magazine. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Clarkesworld Magazine - Science Fiction & Fantasy". Clarkesworld Magazine. Retrieved 26 May 2017. 

External links[edit]