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From award-winning blues scholar and musician Adam Gussow, a taut, sexy first novel about the summer busking scene in Europe and a pair of wild-hearted young men who make a pitch for fame and glory, finding a girl or two along the way. Busker’s Holiday is the story of McKay Chernoff, a Columbia University grad student with a harmonica in his pocket and a blues band in his background. Desolate and despairing after a disastrous romantic breakup, McKay decides to fly off to Paris and reinvent himself as a street performer. What follows is an epic summer voyage into the busking life, propelled by the mad exploits of Billy Lee Grant, a fearless young guitar shredder whose Memphis-to-Mississippi pedigree and Dylanesque surrealism make him, when he explodes into view, precisely the partner McKay has been yearning for. Burning like a latter-day Dean Moriarty, Bill goads McKay into a sun-drenched, all-night bender, stoked by wine, women, mushrooms, and trains, that careens down out of Avignon and across the French Riviera. What happens next—in Florence, Solingen, Amsterdam, Paris—is a story of purgatory, redemption, and love regained. Hope, in a word, as a modern troubadour returns from his wanderings, reborn.
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About the Author
Adam Gussow is an associate professor of English and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi and a professional blues harmonica player and teacher. He is the author of three books on the blues, including Mister Satan's Apprentice: A Blues Memoir, the story of his experience as a Harlem street musician.