Abicus Blues

February 2022

From debut novelist, Woody Dismukes, comes a stunning tale of myth, magic, and music.

 

When the birth of Ana Clara’s twin children leaves her near death in a hospital bed in the Brazilian backcountry town of Macaprana, her children’s father, Matheus, must make a difficult decision. Unprepared to become a father, he decides to sell one of the children to a corrupt American adoption firm.

 

Twenty-five years later, Ben searches for his birth family from New York City. Though, when a chance encounter with an unusual guitar brings visions of another life, another man—one who is as alike to him as his reflection in the mirror—he begins to question everything he knows about his life.

 

Matheus struggles to cope with his decision as his relationship with his now-adult son, Anderson, deteriorates rapidly. Anderson wants nothing more than to escape to Bahia to study with the great guitar legends of Salvador. Yet, he too is gifted a guitar that brings him visions, and forces him to confront his family’s hidden past.

 

Meanwhile, the Orixás plot from their abode in the celestial realm of Orun, each jockeying to control the events they have set forth on Earth, the consequences of which will affect more than the lives of this one shattered family, but may affect the fate of the world.

The Way the Cowries Fall

November 2020
In his chapbook, The Way the Cowries Fall, Woody Dismukes paints a lyrical narrative that transcends place and time. Drawing heavily from Candomblé and other Brazilian religions derived from the descendants of African slaves, this short collection of poetry explores the mythology and folk histories that color the landscape of Dismukes’ native Northeastern Brazil. Featuring eccentric figures such as the notorious outlaw bandit Lampião and the sea-goddess Yemajá, the poems here within utilize a cast of characters both historical and mythical to weave the story of the individual into that of the greater African Diaspora. Touching on a wide breadth of themes from adoption and motherhood to syncretism and religiosity, Dismukes manages to craft a tale at once highly intimate and universally significant.