"Black Resonance is a gem ... The book takes us to school, leaving us with insights and skills, pushing readers and writers, singers and dreamers to think about the ways we engage the literary and sonic works of the next generation of black artists and writers."
(The Journal of American Culture
"Lordi's detailed analysis of literature, music, and the relation of black writers to black women singers shows how careful 'close reading' and 'close listening,' when joined into one practice and tempered with a black feministic optic, yields a rich picture of what Houston Baker called black expressive culture."
(Novel: A Forum on Fiction
"Lordi explodes assumptions about the relationship between black writers and black musicians. By blending insightful cultural history, magnificent close readings, and superb archival research, she refines recent scholarship that reevaluates civil rights era African American literature, the Black Arts Movement, and 21st-century poetry. Her argument's elegant intertwining of cutting-edge theory, enrapturing descriptions of vocal practice, and clear commentary on literature reminds readers of how much rigorous interdisciplinary inquiry can explain about black creativity. Highly recommended."
"In chapters that pair Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, and James Baldwin with female singers, Lordi works to destabilize the ways black women have been (passively) represented as muses of male writers or as vessels of racialized feeling … What makes Lordi's book feel fresh is its exemplary attentiveness to the literature and the music."
"Lordi engages the luminaries of African-American literary criticism (Henry Louis Gates Jr., Claudia Tate, Barbara Johnson, Hortense Spillers, Paul Gilroy, and others), while never muting her own 'signature voice.' This study makes us see—and especially hear—both black female singers and major modern black writers anew ... It blew me away."
(ALH Online Review
"Black Resonance is a tremendously innovative, illuminating, and eloquent study that promises to break important new ground in twentieth-century African American literature and literary criticism, black feminist cultural criticism, and popular music and performance studies. Lordi couples her analytical rigor with elegant and imaginative prose that helps us to hear more clearly the resounding voices of women singers in black letters."
(Daphne A. Brooks Princeton University
“In language that sparkles and gains momentum, Black Resonance refreshes the conversation about how black music, from the slave songs to hip hop, and literature speak to one another. Offering a brilliant new lexicon for black American cultural analysis, Lordi’s book is very welcome required reading for those charting new directions in the field.”
(Robert G. O'Meally author of Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday