Ravi Howard Like Trees, Walking: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780060529604

Like Trees, Walking: A Novel

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9780060529604: Like Trees, Walking: A Novel
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Based on the true story of a modern-day lynching in America, Ravi Howard's widely acclaimed debut novel exposes one of the most tragic chapters in the history of the American South.

On the morning of March 21, 1981, in Mobile, Alabama, nineteen-year-old Michael Donald was found dead, his body badly beaten and hanging from a tree on Herndon Avenue. Brothers Paul and Roy Deacon of the Deacon Memorial Funeral Home are called upon to bury their close friend and classmate, and the experience will leave them forever changed. Along with other residents of their hometown, the Deacon brothers must struggle to understand the circumstances surrounding Donald's murder—the city's first lynching in more than sixty years and a gruesome reminder of racial inequalities in the New South.

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About the Author:

Ravi Howard won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence for his novel Like Trees, Walking. He was also a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. He has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Hurston/Wright Foundation, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the New Jersey Council on the Arts. As a sports producer with NFL Films, he won an Emmy for his work on Inside the NFL.

From Publishers Weekly:

Alabama native Howard revisits a 1981 Mobile, Ala., lynching in his debut novel, an extended version of a short story he wrote that won the 2001 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Award. Narrator Roy Deacon, a 17-year-old seventh-generation mortician, is pressed into service after his brother, Paul, discovers a friend's body hanging from a camphor tree. Roy prepares the body for burial while the community's most fiery leaders rally to press the police to find a better explanation for murder than "a drug deal gone wrong." Throughout the commotion, Roy maintains a remarkable calm as he approaches the end of his senior year in high school, prepares bodies and attends to a distressed Paul. Howard combines these elements to create a slow pace and a mournful mood, though heavy description and overemphasis on metaphor remind the reader that this is Howard's first novel. Justice is meted out in an epilogue, and Howard uses the facts of the case to hit home the novel's premise: that even with justice, there are some stains that will never be erased by time. (Mar.)
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