A Killing in This Town

Olympia Vernon (Author)


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 when Gill Mender--a man haunted by past sins--returns that 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.

Product Details

$12.00  $11.04
Grove Press
Publish Date
February 01, 2007
5.58 X 0.66 X 8.14 inches | 0.65 pounds
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"Kaleidoscopic . . . biblical . . . A fever-dream evocation of a small Mississippi town . . . [Vernon] vividly lays out a collection of blasted lives." -- Maud Casey
"Vernon's amazing skill with language imbues this tale with a dreamy quality of otherness. . . . At once emotionally wrenching and rewarding to read." -- Greg Langley
"Vernon's spooky magic has never been deeper or stronger. . . . The beauty and fury of Vernon's writing burn brightly in this age-old Southern story, made new and startling by her fierce intensity, her witchy ability to cast a spell." -- Susan Larson