Dawnie Walton

Cindy Seip

Dawnie Walton is a fiction writer and journalist whose work explores identity, place, and the influence of pop culture. She has also been an executive-level editor for magazine and multimedia brands that include Essence, Entertainment Weekly, Getty Images, and LIFE. Fiercely independent Opal, the central character in Walton’s The Final Revival of Opal & Nev (37 Ink), pushes against the grain in her style and attitude, the very embodiment of Afro-punk before the term existed. She believes she can be a star. So when aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar’s amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records. But then a violent, life-changing incident – sparked by a rival band signed to her label brandishing a Confederate flag at a concert – throws her dreams into chaos. It will change the lives of those she loves, and be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women. Especially Black women who dare to speak their truth. The New Yorker called it a “lively take on the music industry’s commercialism, racism, and sexism, and also a commentary on how history and memory are refracted through changing cultural currents.”