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TV Journalist, Essayist and Novelist, Lisa Braxton on Dialogue

  • Broadcast in Books
DIALOGUE Between the Lines

DIALOGUE Between the Lines


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Lisa Braxton is an Emmy-nominated former television journalist, an essayist, short story writer, and novelist. She is also a creative writing instructor. Recently, her debut novel, The Talking Drum was selected by Shelf Unbound book review magazine as the overall winner of its 2020 Independently Published Book Award. She has also received an outstanding literary award from the National Association of Black Journalists for The Talking Drum. Her stories and essays have appeared in Vermont Literary ReviewBlack Lives Have Always MatteredChicken Soup for the Soul and The Book of HopeThe Talking Drum, is about 3 young couples in the early 1970s and how they're affected when an urban redevelopment project takes over a neighborhood. 


It is 1971 and Bellport, Massachusetts is a dying factory town. Urban redevelopment will have implications for the residents. Sydney Stallworth has left her law studies to support her husband’s dream of opening a business in the heart of the black community. For Omar Bassari, a drummer from Senegal, Bellport will be the launching pad from which he hopes to spread African culture across the world. Della Tolliver has built a fragile sanctuary for herself, her boyfriend, and her daughter Jasmine, a troubled child prone to nightmares and outbursts. Tensions rise as the demolition date moves closer and suspicious fires begin to break out. Bellport’s residents find themselves increasingly at odds with the political system that is manipulating their lives and their relationships. Examining the profound impact of gentrification, The Talking Drum explores intra-racial, class, and cross-cultural tensions, along with the meaning of community and belonging.