- The story is set in New York City.
- The narrator works as an interpreter in the court system, presumably in French.
- “The Tombs” is a nickname for the Manhattan Detention Complex municipal jail where people are held pending trial.
- You can see the garage doors to the Tombs from the top of Columbus Park, in Chinatown.
- “Out of the Tombs” was published as an excerpt from a prospective novel of the same name, though Madison Smartt Bell has published no novel with that title, nor, it seems, with these characters.
- However, in this interview from 2011, when the story was published, he said he was “contemplating … a novel about zombies (the real ones, not the spawn of George Romero and nothing at all to do with Jane Austen).”
- He has published a trilogy on the Haitian revolution of the 18th century.
- Here is an interview also from 2011 in which Bell compares Vodou to Quakerism, and spiritual possession to artistic practise.
- A yueqin, also known as a moon guitar (Wikimedia).
- The north building of the Manhattan Detention Complex (“The Tombs”) at 100 Baxter St. (Wikimedia)
- Building at Baxter & Bayard streets, Chinatown, NYC (Photo)
- Bayard St. looking towards the double-entrance to the Tombs on Baxter St. (Google Street View, 11.1.19)
- Tai Chi group practicing in Columbus Park, NYC (YouTube)
- Xiangqi (Chinese chess) players and onlookers in Columbus Park, Manhattan, NYC (Wikimedia)
- Columbus Park, NYC, where people practice Tai Chi (Photo)