The United States prides itself on being the world’s melting pot, but during a long, hot summer in coastal North Carolina, three young people will put that theory to the test. A German named Tillmann is vacationing in the States with his girlfriend and corresponding with an African American colleague about the evolution of blues music. Over the course of the season, the trio’s discussions range from Mariah Carey to Ronald Reagan, from the Black Power movement to Nazi Germany. And as a hurricane churns across the Atlantic, their exploration of how ethnicity, race, and gender are defined ― particularly for America’s African and Jewish diasporas ― will culminate in revelations about their own ethnic identities. Thomas Meinecke’s groundbreaking writing style is on full display in Pale Blue, as the writer-DJ has crafted his insightful novel with the same uncanny skill with which jazz and blues musicians create their improvisational styles.
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Thomas Meinecke was born in Hamburg, Germany, and split his childhood between Heidelberg and Mannheim. He studied theater, German literature, and communication at Munich’s Ludwig Maximilians University, earning his master’s degree and writing for the underground magazine Mode & Verzweiflung. In 1980, he cofounded the band Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle (F.S.K.), which continues to record today, and since 1985 has worked as a club and radio DJ. He is the author of six innovative novels, including The Church of John F. Kennedy, Lookalikes, and Tomboy. He and his wife, the artist and musician Michaela Melián, have one daughter. They live today in the countryside south of Munich.
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