by Dasha Kelly
“Two ways life consumes you, swallowed or swept away. One way happens to you, the other happens because of you. Love can go either way.”
For as long as she can remember, CeCe has taken care of herself. With her father gone and her mother crippled by chronic depression, CeCe struggles to find fulfillment in the sacrifice required to keep their lives together. As her mother's condition worsens, CeCe is forced to stay close to home and stifle her dreams. With the poetic dexterity of Nikki Giovanni and an unforgettable cast of compassionate characters, Dasha Kelly examines one woman's struggle to choose between her obligation to care for her mother and living life on her own terms.
PRAISE FOR ALMOST CRIMSON:
"Dasha Kelly writes with equal parts sweetness and sadness about being a human. She writes about girls and women, family, friendship and aching love. Almost Crimson offers a full teacup of emotions, past and present, delicately balanced on a wildly beating heart. This author, this novel–blessings to readers and storytellers alike."
—Leesa Cross-Smith, author of Every Kiss A War
"Dasha Kelly's Almost Crimson is a beautiful, poignant account of many lives, tremendous intersections, journeys to wholeness, and an exploration of love and community. This book rightly deserves a place alongside the works of Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and Toni Cade Bambara."
—Samuel Thompson, nationally-acclaimed Afro-Classical violinist
"Dasha Kelly's novel Almost Crimson is almost perfect, its structural genius rivaled only by the depth and complexity of its characterizations, the candor and frequent beauty of its understated yet direct prose style, the simultaneous plausibility and unpredictability of its plot, and the importance of its message of survival, perseverance, and ultimate transcendence."
—Paul McComas, Midwest Book Award-winning author of Unplugged, Planet of the Dates, and Unforgettable
"Dasha Kelly's Almost Crimson is a debut of rare power and grace. Beautifully written, moving, and wonderfully paced. This book is a must read."
—Rob Roberge, musician and author of The Cost of Living
"Almost Crimson is what happens when a storyteller with the deft skills of a glassblower takes something as normal as words and transforms them into intricate works of art. Dasha Kelly has spun a vivid and timeless treasure, as only few writers can do."
—Freddie Gutierrez, screenwriter for MGM, Nickelodeon and Warner Brothers
"This book drew me in with increasing power. I couldn't put it down. It's a story of survival and redemption, offering a spark of hope and poetic justice for all the kids that raise themselves from neglect and isolation, and those who dare to reach out with encouragement and generosity. Dasha enchants and ensnares the reader with wry wit, lush imagery and measured cadence of a true storyteller."
—Asia Freeman, Executive/Artistic Director of Alaska's award-winning Bunnell Street Art Center
"Readers cannot help but root for CeCe as she struggles, hiding her pain behind grim determination and a strong habit of just putting one foot in front of another—walking onwards and upwards to new beginnings. Thumbs up to Dasha on this tour de force, coming-of-age novel!"
—Kimberly Graba, librarian, Racine Correctional Institution
ABOUT DASHA KELLY:
Dasha Kelly is a nationally-respected writer, artist and social entrepreneur. As a spoken word artist, Dasha has performed throughout the U.S., in Canada and appeared on the final season of HBO presents Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam. Dasha holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. She is an alum of the iconic Squaw Valley Writers Community, the former writer-in-residence for the historic Pfister Hotel, and founder of Still Waters Collective, an arts education and community-building initiative. In 2014, Dasha was selected as a U.S. Embassy Arts Envoy to teach and perform in Botswana, Africa.
She is the author of one chapbook Hither and three books: All Fall Down, Hershey Eats Peanuts, and Call It Forth. She lives in Milwaukee, WI.
Publication Date: May 2015