Blitz Bazawule: The Scent of Burnt Flowers
Join us for an in-person event with Grammy nominated multidisciplinary artist and director Blitz Bazawule for a discussion of his debut novel The Scent of Burnt Flowers. This event will be hosted in the Strand Book Store’s 3rd floor Rare Book Room at 828 Broadway on 12th Street.
Can’t make the event? Purchase a signed copy of The Scent of Burnt Flowers here.
STRAND IN-PERSON EVENT COVID-19 POLICY:
In-person events will be presented to a fully vaccinated and masked audience. All patrons over the age of five will be required to show proof* of having completed the COVID-19 vaccination series at least 14 days prior to the date of the event.
*Proof of vaccination will be defined as either an original vaccination card, Excelsior Pass or its equivalent. We will be checking to ensure compliance with the 14 day waiting period post-vaccination.
Registration will be required online. No tickets for entry will be sold at the door.
Fleeing persecution in 1960s America, a Black couple seeks asylum in Ghana, but fresh dangers and old secrets threaten their newfound freedom in this hypnotic debut novel.
December 26, 1965, Alabama, the fateful night that triggers an avalanche of events that turn newly engaged couple, Melvin and Bernadette, into fugitives. A pitstop in the wrong part of town ends with blood on their hands, and Melvin decides they must flee the country in order to survive. Bernadette, who’s hiding a secret from her fiancé, reluctantly agrees. With a persistent F.B.I. agent on their trail, they travel to Ghana to seek the help of Melvin’s old college friend, who happens to be the country’s embattled president, Kwame Nkrumah.
The couple’s chance encounter with Ghana’s most beloved Highlife musician, Kwesi Kwayson, who’s on his way to perform for the president, sparks a journey full of suspense, lust, magic, and danger as Nkrumah’s regime crumbles around them. What was meant to be a fresh start quickly spirals into chaos. Kwesi and Bernadette’s undeniable attraction and otherwordly bond cascades during their three-day trek, and so does Melvin’s intense jealousy. All three must confront each other and their secrets, setting off a series of cataclysmic events.
Steeped in the history and mythologies of West Africa, at the intersection of the civil rights movement in the United States, The Scent of Burnt Flowers merges political intrigue, magical encounters, and forbidden romance in an epic collision of love, morality, and power.
Blitz Bazawule is a multidisciplinary artist born in Ghana. His feature directorial debut, The Burial of Kojo, premiered on Netflix via ARRAY Releasing. He co-directed Beyoncé’s Black Is King, which earned him a Grammy nomination. Bazawule is set to direct the musical version of The Color Purple for Warner Bros. His artwork has been featured at the Whitney Biennial. He is also a TED senior fellow and a Guggenheim fellow.
Photo credit: ONErpm Studios