Sunday, February 04, 2007

Debut Novel

A new novel will debut February 20, 2007 by author Ravi Howard titled "Like Trees, Walking." The books subject matter revolves around the last American lynching of a black man, Michael Donald, in Mobile, Alabama, in 1981. Howard an Alabama native himself, won the 2001 Nora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Award for a short story on this very subject. Although this is a fictionalized account, Howard uses the facts of the case to write an extended version of it's short story.

The body of an African American high school student in Mobile, Alabama, in 1981 is discovered by Paul Deacon, son of a prominent black funeral home director. Initially, three drug addicts are accused of the crime, but the case against them quickly falls apart, and no progress is made for several years, even though it is obvious that local Klansmen are the murderers. Paul's brother Roy recalls these events 20 years later as a grown man with a family of his own. Howard's novel is not primarily a whodunit or a police procedural, although it does have a strong CSI slant. The subject is really the city of Mobile and the rapidly changing Gulf Coast community two decades after the major struggles of the Civil Rights era (Library Journal).

Here is a link to Wikipedia Encyclopedia of the actual case of the lynching of Michael Donald in Alabama. Warning! there are some graphic photos

This sounds like a great read and was recommended by noted award winning author, David Anthony Durham of "Gabriel's Story," "Walking Through Darkness," "Pride of Carthage" and soon to be released (June 2007) fourth novel "Acacia" a speculative novel set in an alternative world.