Who Killed Buster Sparkle?
A 2020 Nominee of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, John W. Bateman's Who Killed Buster Sparkle? is more than a must-read....it's a must-be in the modern canon of literature.
When a drag queen named Peaches meets Buster, a Mississippi ghost with partial amnesia, questions of past, present, and future surface.
Buster attempts to reckon with who he was and is in the presence of Peaches, whose gender-fluid identity perplexes him. Although he doesn't want to associate with Peaches, Buster realizes that he must push aside his biases to avoid eternal loneliness.
Who Killed Buster Sparkle? threads together dialogue on race, gender, orientation, and economics, showing oppression exists in many forms. Bateman masters the comic and gothic through two characters who need each other more than they understand.
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About the Author
"Who Killed Buster Sparkle?" is a riveting mystery that you won't want to put down. Not only does the thrilling plot make this story exciting, but also the amusing dialogue and the character development of both Buster and Peaches as they become detectives. Bateman's first novel is set in omniscient first person, with a main character who is able to hear others' thoughts when he walks through them. By making his two main characters an African American ghost and a white transgender woman, Batemen's first novel is a clever exploration of under-represented perspectives on sexuality and race in Mississippi. "Who Killed Buster Sparkle?" is imaginative and full of love and community-spirit, and it is a very entertaining read.
--Jenna Gibson, Special to the Mississippi Clarion Ledger
#3 Raspberry Lane is the delightful convergence of the underworld and the queer underground of Clover, Mississippi. Here, possession takes on a new meaning, love has no color, and gender is gloriously spectral. In Who Killed Buster Sparkle?, Bateman has recreated the American South, making it tragically new and hauntingly utopian.
-- Michael Carroll, Stella Maris and Other Key West Stories, and winner of the 2015 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for little reef and other stories
"...witty, inventive writing... I predict nobody will ever kill Buster Sparkle. He will live on as a fresh and original movie at a time when we desperately need one."
-- Rex Reed, New York Observer
John Bateman's fine first novel is not only a smart exploration of race, sexuality, class, and community in the New South, it's an ingenious murder mystery where the unlikely detectives are a public-spirited drag queen and a ghost with amnesia. Original and entertaining.
-- Christopher Bram, author of Gods and Monsters
"...an exploration of loneliness, relationships, and the true meaning of family. Come for the intrigue and stay for the well-rounded characters that draw you into their complex lives."
-- Mark Oliver, writer, executive producer of Prisoner Zero