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Local author’s new book, ‘Alice’s Musical Debut,’ imagines childhood of Alice Coltrane

CENTRAL WEST END – Local author DuEwa Frazier stopped by Left Bank Books on Saturday for a reading from her latest book, “Alice’s Musical Debut.” 

Frazier has previously published two young adult novels, “Quincy Rules” and “Deanne in the Middle.” Besides her writing for children and young adults, she has also published “Goddess Under the Bridge,” a book of poetry, and has had work featured in several anthologies and magazines.

Born in New York and raised in both Queens and St. Louis, Frazier said she had had a lifelong interest in writing. 

I kept journals as a child.  I became an English major in college.  Writing is something that just became a part of my life over time,” she said, adding that her experiences working at a newspaper and having some of her poems published in Essence Magazines had affirmed her love of writing. 

For her, the writing process is all about ideas. 

“I may create notes, lists and outlines,” she explained. “My ideas come from whatever I am inspired by. It might be current events, history, a notable person in the arts, a conversation, a photograph. There are so many things that can inspire a writer. I write when the inspiration strikes me.”

Planning out her writing is also very important, she added, to find the balance between keeping deadlines and letting the story develop “organically.” Each story can form differently, she said.

Her latest work, “Alice’s Musical Debut,” is her first for young children. It follows a day in the life of John Coltrane’s wife, Alice, who was a musician and composer in her own right. But in “Alice’s Musical Debut,” Frazier imagines Alice at 7 years old, listening to the sounds of the world around her as a thunderstorm keeps her awake. 

Frazier said she had always had a particular fondness for children’s literature. 

“I’ve always had a love for children’s stories,” she said. “My family instilled a love for reading in me as a child.  While I was in graduate school earning the MFA in Creative Writing at The New School University in New York around 2010, I began generating ideas for children’s books.”

She said she had also written other children’s stories for an educational services organization called Rocket Learning. 

Frazier said that one of her favorite places was the University City library, and she’s a big advocate for libraries in general.

“I was an avid reader growing up, and the U. City library was one of my favorite places to read and check out new books,” she said. “My next favorite library is the Central Brooklyn Public Library in Brooklyn, New York. I will always be an advocate for children having library cards and spending as much time as they can at local libraries. Libraries are important for young people to develop a love for reading.”

Frazier said that currently she was promoting “Alice’s Musical Debut” as well as preparing for her next speaking engagement. For more information about her books and other work, visit

Samantha Auch

Sam Auch graduated from Knox College, where she studied Theater and Gender Studies. Outside her work with The Northsider, she works as an actor, playwright, and artist. You can found out more about her at her website

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