2016 - 168 pages
ISBN Paperback: 9789463003537 ($ 15.00)
Subject: Social Fiction
Number 18 of the series: Social Fictions SeriesFree Preview Blue
”What a treasure this novel is ...Here’s the thing: while this is a short book, it’s an eminently readable, thoughtful, satisfying one – the kind of book where you start and then just read until you’re done, no interruptions and much joy. It can – and should – be used in university classrooms for a variety of subjects, but it is also meant to be read outside of the university – for yourself, or with your book club. There’s much to ponder, and discuss, but also much to ingest, reflect upon, and relate to your own life. I couldn’t put it down, absolutely loved it, and can’t stop thinking about it. Highly recommended.” -- Dr. Jessie Voigts, Wandering Educators
“A joyful, inspiring and painfully beautiful novel written by gifted scholar and writer, Patricia Leavy. Blue shows all of us how to move forward through times of pain, crisis or complacency with hope and love.” Norman Denzin, Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
“I love it. I just love it. I wasn't planning on reading it this morning but once I started I couldn't stop. Tash is so familiar and yet unique. I get her discontents and I am rooting for her as soon as she says her first words. She's in NYC and I know she's going to make it. I want her to. And I want her friends, including the homeless man, to make it, too. In the accolades of the 1980's, I find the novel cool, hip and awesome! It would be fantastic in any number of college courses. Young adults should read this. BRAVO, Patricia Leavy!” Laurel Richardson, Ph.D. The Ohio State University
“An engaging piece of public scholarship, Blue provides rich food for thought about the pop culture landscape and how its shapes our own stories. With a subtext about privilege, opportunity, sexual assault and gender, this would be a useful and fun teaching tool.” Sut Jhally, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Founder & Executive Director, Media Education Foundation
“A tour de force! Leavy shines at her brightest in this little gem of a book. Authentic dialogue, fun but complex characters, and brilliant uses of pop culture make this book a must-read. I don’t want to give anything away, but the meaning of the title is genius. Beautiful! I love that we get to catch up with Tash from Low-Fat Love and be immersed in her sometimes endearing, sometimes frustrating, and all too relatable complexity again. The city is a refreshing character in this finely drawn book, transporting you to a hopeful, hip, vibrant New York. Blue inspires reflection and entertains. I highly recommend it!” Amy Leigh Mercree, author of The Spiritual Girl’s Guide to Dating
"Blue, Patricia Leavy’s latest journey into social fiction, reminds me of what it meant to live through the blue of young adulthood, a time spent working through the complexities of a life that’s constantly changing like the sky while struggling toward self-love, spiritual balance and happiness. I was immediately pulled in as a reader by Leavy’s refreshing use of language, her descriptions helping me see the world she’s creating, a world that feels as familiar as one I remember as if it were yesterday." Mary E. Weems, Ph.D., author of Blackeyed: Plays and Monologues and Cleveland Arts Prize winner
“Patricia Leavy's strength lies not just in writing relatable yet complex women, but also in the level of cultural and social research she puts into each page. Blue is more than a great read, it is the embodiment of sociological art, grounded in theory and method and mixed with all the fun pop culture has to offer. The result is stunning! I can't wait to use it in the classroom!” Adrienne Trier-Bieniek, Ph.D., Valencia College
“In her new novel Blue, Patricia Leavy maps the contemporary landscape of love by narrating a vibrant tale where complex and compelling characters dance with the possibilities of longing and romance like light and shadow dance a tango, full of wisdom, wit, and wonder, swirling with vibrant voices that conjure the hope and loss we all know is the heart and truth of love, always more confounding than found, always calling us forth with indefatigable desire. Blue is a novel we all need to read now!” Carl Leggo, Ph.D., University of British Columbia; Poet
"Patricia Leavy has done it again. Shimmering under a filmic haze of vintage mid-80s Greenwich Village, her latest novel Blue bursts to life with the elegance and electricity of a true New Yorker. Equal parts smart and funny, this book somehow also manages to be a love letter to anyone who has fallen in love, survived the death of a love affair, the death of a loved one, or walked with others through such profound loss. It is a work of immense empathy, a work of creative practice-led research about hope and loyalty, resilience and redemption. Tash, Jason, and Penelope are characters we have all known or been. For this is ultimately a book about coming of age as a creative act, a book about family, and about the impossibility of living ‘safe’ lives. It shows the power of pop culture not only to reflect our experiences, but to co-create them. Leavy says, “the path through pain has always been creativity,” and in this book readers will see that creative research finds its true validity in the affective authenticity of characters like us, and in this task Blue succeeds beyond measure." Anne Harris, Ph.D., Monash University; Australian Research Fellow in Creativity and Arts in Education
Nominated: Living Now Book Awards 2017, category of "Inspirational Fiction"
Nominated: IPPY Awards 2017, categories of Popular Fiction, and Regional Fiction - North-East
Nominated: The Emily Toth Award for the Best Single Work in Women's Studies by One or More Authors 2016 sponsored by the Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association
Nominated: USA Best Book Awards 2016 nominated in 3 categories: Best New Fiction, Fiction-- General, Fiction-- Chick Lit/Women’s Lit
Nominated: Ray and Pat Browne Award for the Best Single Work 2016 sponsored by the Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association
Nominated: Best Creative Expression Award 2016 given by The Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender (OSCLG)
Nominated: Outstanding Book Award 2016 given by The Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender (OSCLG)
About the book:
Blue follows three roommates as they navigate life and love in their post-college years. Tash Daniels, the former party girl, falls for deejay Aidan. Always attracted to the wrong guy, what happens when the right one comes along? Jason Woo, a lighthearted model on the rise, uses the club scene as his personal playground. While he’s adept at helping Tash with her personal life, how does he deal with his own when he meets a man that defies his expectations? Penelope, a reserved and earnest graduate student slips under the radar, but she has a secret no one suspects. As the characters’ stories unfold, each is forced to confront their life choices or complacency and choose which version of themselves they want to be.
Blue is a novel about identity, friendship, figuring out who we are during the “in-between” phases of life, and the search for people who “get us.” The characters in Blue show how our interactions with people often bump up against backstage struggles we know nothing of. Visual art, television and film, appear as signposts throughout the narrative, providing a context for how we each come to build our sense of self in the world. With a tribute to 1980s pop culture, set against the backdrop of contemporary New York, Blue both celebrates and questions the ever-changing cultural landscape against which we live our stories, frame by frame.
Although fictional, Blue is grounded in interview research, teaching and personal observations. It can be read entirely for pleasure or used as supplemental reading in a variety of courses in women’s/gender studies, sociology, psychology, communication, popular culture, media studies, qualitative inquiry, narrative inquiry or arts-based research. The protagonist, Tash Daniels, originally appeared in the best-selling novel Low-Fat Love (Blue is set several years later). Blue can be read as a stand-alone novel.
About the author:
Patricia Leavy, Ph.D., is an award-winning independent sociologist and best-selling author. For more about Patricia, visit her web page PatriciaLeavy.com