Early Bright

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Toby Press, 2008 - Fiction - 348 pages
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From the black jazz clubs on Central Avenue in Watts, to the tidy homes of the war widows he cons, Louis Greenberg lives life on the outside. No matter how charming and passionate he is, an outsider he will always be. He is white, a Jew, and that never goes away.
It is 1948. An impulsive, irrevocable decision has led to Louis' permanent exile from his family back in New York. Six years later, his father's disappointment still haunts him. Living a fractured, confusing life in Los Angeles, Louis moves between worlds. By day he is a c-man, artfully conning the relatives of men killed in action in World War II out of their cash, preying upon their memories and pain. By night he enters the only world where he is truly alive. In the all-black underground clubs of L.A. he nurtures his passion for bebop, listening to and playing cutting-edge jazz. Here he is still an outsider, but he has won acceptance - to a point. Here, he meets the woman he loves, but can never truly have, in the segregated world of the forties.
As Louis navigates the treacherous waters of jazz and women, passion and cynicism, he will try for one big con to put his troubled life to rights - but the many dissonant threads of past and present will come together, ensnaring him in a web of his own making.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

In 1948 Los Angeles, a white grifter haunts black jazz clubs and dreams of bebop fame.Louis Greenberg is a New Yorker by birth, but after a scandal involving his fitness for wartime military service ... Read full review

Early Bright

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The year is 1948, the place is Los Angeles, and the name of the game is survival. Con man Louis Greenberg supplements his swindles with occasional gigs in underground jazz clubs as he tries to break ... Read full review


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About the author (2008)

Ami Silber is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she received her MFA in literature from UC San Deigo. She won the Short Story Award for New Writers from Glimmer Train Press and her work has appeared Glimmer Train Stories. She and her husband live in Los Angeles.

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