The Gilda Stories

The Gilda Stories

The immortal cult classic


'A groundbreaking work of Afrofuturism before the term was even coined' Guardian

'A lush, exciting, inspiring read' Sarah Waters

In this radically reimagined vampire myth, the night hides many things...

Louisiana, 1850. A young girl escapes slavery and is taken in by two mysterious women. Rumoured to be witches, the pair travel only at night, dress in men's clothing and seem to know others' innermost thoughts. But the girl sees the promise of true freedom in their dark glittering eyes: the promise to 'share the blood' and live forever. They name her Gilda.

Over the next two hundred years, Gilda moves through unseen spaces: through antebellum brothels, gold-rush bars, Black women's suffrage groups, hair salons and jazz clubs, searching for a way to exist in the world. Her body, powerful against the passage of time, will know both beauty and horror through the women she desires and the blood she craves. But can Gilda truly outrun the darkness of history and face a future where the lives of everyone she loves are at stake?


  • The Gilda Stories was ahead of its time when it was first published in 1991... Gomez's characters are rooted in historical reality yet lift seductively out of it, to trouble traditional models of family, identity, and literary genre and imagine for us bold new patterns. A lush, exciting, inspiring read
    Sarah Waters

About the author

Jewelle Gomez

Jewelle Gomez is a writer, activist and the author of the double Lambda Award-winning novel, The Gilda Stories. Her other publications include The Lipstick Papers, Flamingoes and Bears and Oral Tradition. Formerly the executive director of the Poetry Center and the American Poetry Archives at San Francisco State University, she has also worked in philanthropy for many years. She is the former director of the literature programme at the New York State Council on the Arts, the director of Grants and Community Initiatives for Horizon and the President of the San Francisco Library Commission. She lives in San Francisco.
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