Alice Randall is the author of The Wind Done Gone; Pushkin and the Queen of Spades; and Rebel Yell. Born in Detroit she grew up in Washington, D.C.. As a Harvard undergraduate majoring in English she studied with Julia Child as well as Harry Levin, Alan Heimert, and Nathan Huggins. After graduation Randall headed south to Music City where she founded Midsummer Music with the idea she would create a new way to fund novel writing and a community of powerful storytellers . On her way to The Wind Done Gone she became the first black woman in history to write a number one country song; wrote a video of the year; worked on multiple Johnny Cash videos’ and wrote and produced the pilot for a primetime drama about ex-wives of country stars that aired on CBS. She has written with or published some of the greatest songwriters of the era including Steve Earle, Matraca Berg, Bobby Braddock, and Mark Sanders. Two novels later, the award winning songwriter with over twenty recorded songs to her credit and frequent contributor to Elle magazine, is Writer-in-Residence at Vanderbilt University. She teaches courses on Country Lyric in American Culture, Creative Writing, and Soul Food as text and in text. Randall lives near the University with her husband, a ninth generation Nashvillian who practices green law. Her daughter is a student at Harvard. After twenty-one years hard at it Randall has come to the conclusion motherhood is the most creative calling of all.
Rebel Yell released on September 29, and is available here for online purchase.
Abel Jones Jr., a civil rights lawyers son turned black Washington neo-con, has met an unlikely end: collapsing at the Rebel Yell dinner theater, surrounded by actors in Confederate regalia, with his white second wife at his side. Hope Jones Blackshear, Abels first wife and mother of his only son, is left confounded by the turn his life took in his later years.
Sharing a drink after the funeral with Abels old friend Nicholas Gordon, Hope lets herself reminisce about first meeting Abel at Harvard, and their early married days as a foreign service couple in Manila and Martinique. But her own version of history is altered by that of Nicholas, a dandified Brit who seems to know more than he lets on. To fully understand the story of Abel Jones, for her own sake and that of their teenage son, Hope journeys from Nashville to Rome, seeking the connection between the Abel she loved, a child of Southern terror in the sixties, and the Abel who became a White House watchdog of global terror, driven to measures Hope could never have imagined.
The work of one of our gutsiest writers, Rebel Yell is a novel of resilient love, political intrigue, and family secrets, steeped in our countrys racial history and framing our unique political moment.