About the Book

A Killing in This Town

A Killing in This Town

A Novel
January 2007
Trade Paperback · 256 Pages
$12.00 U.S.
ISBN 9780802142962
Grove Press


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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.

About the Author

Olympia Vernon is the author of the award-winning novels Eden and Logic. She grew up in a small town on the border of Mississippi and Louisiana, the fourth of seven children. She has a degree in Criminal Justice, and an M.F.A. from Louisiana State University. Vernon is the winner of a 2004 Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the Academy of the Arts and Letters, a 2005 Louisiana Governor's Arts Award in the Professional Artist category, has twice been granted the Matt Clark Memorial Scholarship, and was nominated for the Robert O. Butler Award in Fiction in 2000. She lives in New Orleans.