In Motor City Burning, Morris catches up with Detroit as that idyll is just starting to crumble. Straddling the race riots of 1967 and Opening Day of the Tigers' 1968 season, Motor City Burning evokes the turmoil and the triumph of the time, with a keen eye toward a city that has become, in the contemporary imagination, analogous with the tragedy of shifting values.
Morris is touring the southeast in a vintage American woody, and he's bringing Motor City Burning and its Motown soundtrack to Atlanta. On Thursday, July 31st, at 7:00 p.m., Morris reads from and discusses Motor City Burning at The Reading Room, A Cappella's new event space, adjacent to the store.
About Motor City Burning:
Willie Bledsoe, once an idealistic young black activist, is now a burnt-out case. After leaving a snug berth at Tuskegee Institute to join the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, he has become bitterly disillusioned with the civil rights movement and its leaders. He returns home to Alabama to try to write a memoir about his time in the cultural whirlwind, but the words fail to come.
The surprise return of his Vietnam veteran brother in the spring of 1967 gives Willie a chance to drive a load of smuggled guns to the Motor City – and make enough money to jump-start his stalled dream of writing his movement memoir. There, at Tiger Stadium on Opening Day of the 1968 baseball season – postponed two days in deference to the funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr. – Willie learns some terrifying news: the Detroit police are still investigating the last unsolved murder from the bloody, apocalyptic riot of the previous summer, and a white cop named Frank Doyle will not rest until the case is solved. And Willie is his prime suspect.
Bill Morris's rich and thrilling new novel sets Doyle's hunt amid the history of one of America's most tortured and fascinating cities, as Doyle and Willie struggle with Detroit's deep racial divide, with revenge and forgiveness – and with the realization that justice is rarely attainable, and rarely just.
“A jarring, challenging book that breaks a lot of rules from a writer already excitingly and powerfully in command of his craft.” --Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“A wonderfully atmospheric novel that captures time and place, an illumination of a pivotal point in history. Bill Morris is an exceptionally gifted and savvy writer. The comparison to Graham Greene is fully merited.” --Nelson DeMille
If you won't be able to attend this event, but would still like a signed copy of Motor City Burning, click the Event webpage below. (jasbro)