WrightPlease describe what your novel is about.

The life of Robert Johnson, a blues musician born on May 8, 1911, has remained a mystery since his death on August 13, 1938. What little is known has been obscured by his own myth. Some reasons for the lack of accurate information concerning Robert Johnson’s life are that he not only had numerous families across the Mississippi Delta but also went by a variety of names. Play Pretty Blues, narrated by the collective voice of his six wives, illuminates the details of Robert Johnson’s life through the use of both fictional exploration and historical research. It attempts to create a broader, more compelling, and denser portrait of a musician most people know only for the legend of how he sold his soul to the devil in exchange for skills on the guitar.

PlayPrettyBluesStop Breakin’ Down Blues

We received proof of his life less than a month after his death. In late September of 1938, a period of days on record as the hottest in state history, our memories of Robert Johnson had begun to entangle themselves with the sensations of our skin gamy in the joints and our dresses glued to sweaty thighs. We could hear him in the symphonic trickle of riverbeds parched by crop storms. We could smell him in the effluvial perfume of tomatoes fallen to decay. At each of our homes in towns scattered throughout the Delta—Tabitha lived in Tutwiler, Helena lived in Yazoo—all six of us distracted ourselves from both the heat and his memory by snapping peas on the porch, by beating dirt from rugs in the yard, by scrubbing laundry with lye in the washroom. Our chores were interrupted when the postman arrived at each of our homes carrying parcels that bore each of our names. We immediately recognized our husband’s serpentine scrawl.

By the end of the first month, Wayne was smoking dope bought by his friends’ yobosayos from the Korean pharmacy, which the GIs weren’t allowed to enter. The stuff was weak, low grade compared to what people grew back home, but it was all there was. He’d roll and smoke joints at night in one of his buddies’ hooches while they were out in the Ville. Back in his bunk he’d listen to the Armed Forces radio play all the good music he grew up with, fixing his eyes on the Bible, trying to get past Genesis. That lasted a few more weeks until his buddies got tired of his using their hooches and yobosayos to get his stuff. “Get your own shit, you cheap lazy motherfucker,” one of them said. And so one Friday he went out with them to Duffy’s, intent on doing just that.