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“Viscerally moving . . . A fugue of folk idiom, blues, biblical diction and surreal imagery makes for lots of atmosphere.” Publishers Weekly
A Killing in This Town
978-0-8021-4296-2 • $12.00 • Paperback • Feb. 2007
Award-winning author Olympia Vernon’s third novel, A Killing in This Town, is a taut, poetic masterpiece that exhumes a horrific epoch from the annals of the American South.
There is a menace in the woods of Bullock County, Mississippi, and not only for the black man destined to be lynched when a white boy comes of age. The white men who work at the plant are in danger, too, but they refuse to heed Earl Thomas’s urgent message that the
factory is slowly killing them, turning a deaf ear to the black pastor. Thomas knows he should try to deliver the message again, but he hears the blood of his murdered friend calling to him from the ground, and fears that he will be the next black man to be dragged to his death. Adam Pickens, a white boy now on the eve of his thirteenth birthday, isn’t sure he wants to wear the garb being readied for him by the Klan seamstress, or participate in the town’s ugly
ritual. It is only with the return of Gill Mendera man haunted by past sinsthat redemption seems possible. A transfixing and pivotal work of fiction, A Killing in This Town exposes the fragile hierarchy of a society poisoned by hatred, and shows the power of an individual to stand up to the demons of history and bring the cycle of violence to an end.