by Leonard Pitts, Jr.
Listen to the audio preview.
By Leonard Pitts, Jr.
"A novel as significant as it is engrossing."
Grant Park is page-turning and provocative look at black and white relations in contemporary America, blending the absurd and the poignant in a powerfully well-crafted narrative that showcases Pitts's gift for telling emotionally wrenching stories.Grant Park begins in 1968, with Martin Luther King's final days in Memphis. The story then moves to the eve of the 2008 election, and cuts between the two eras. Disillusioned columnist Malcolm Toussaint, fueled by yet another report of unarmed black men killed by police, hacks into his newspaper's server to post an incendiary column that had been rejected by his editors. Toussaint then disappears, and his longtime editor, Bob Carson, is summarily fired within hours of the column's publication.
While a furious Carson tries to find Toussaint—while simultaneously dealing with the reappearance of a lost love from his days as a 60s activist—Toussaint is abducted by two white supremacists plotting to explode a bomb at Barack Obama's planned rally in Chicago’s Grant Park. Toussaint and Carson are forced to remember the choices they made as young men, when both their lives were changed profoundly by their work in the civil rights movement.
"Grant Park is layered, insightful, and passionate. Pitts's subtly explosive language grips readers with the delicate subject matter and earnestly implores them to understand that '[race] has always meant something and it always will.' The scars will remain, but stunningly powerful examinations like Grant Park can be the salve that helps heal open wounds." —Shelf-Awareness, starred review
"Leonard Pitts has written a taut thriller that weaves together a stark look at America's tortured racial past with a fast-paced tale of terrorist conspiracy and love rekindled." —Neil Steinberg,Chicago Sun Times
“. . . these ideas [are] perennially salient, and doubly so today, given a growing litany of American sorrows, from Ferguson to Charleston and beyond. . . . lays bare the extent to which Americans, black and white, still struggle to articulate the basic elements of our shared past." — Vinson Cunningham, New York Times Book Review
"The book is a page-turner, but also one that commands deep reflection on history, racism, and personal choices." —Blanca Torres, The Seattle Times
"A novel as significant as it is engrossing." —Booklist, starred review
"Pitts masterfully revisits [election night on November 4, 2008] and four decades of the civil rights struggle to create one of the most suspenseful and spectacular fictitious moments you'll experience this fall." —Patrik Henry Bass, Essence
"Pitts does a skillful job of building tension in the novel's historical sections as well as on Election Day. . . . He also does something not every political thriller writer does: builds believable, complex characters." — Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times
"[A] high-stakes, hard-charging political thriller. . . . The sharply etched characters, careful attention to detail, and rich newspaper lore propel Pitts's socially relevant novel." —Publishers Weekly
"And then there are those thrills—gasping, mouth-gaping page-turners that author Leonard Pitts Jr. weaves through another realism: truthful, brutal plot-lines about racial issues of the last five decades, mulling over exactly how far we’ve really come. That makes this will-they-live-or-won't-they nail-biter into something that also made me think, and I absolutely loved it." —Terri Schlichenmeyer, The Bookworm Sez
"An important book, one that honestly examines the current, tumultuous racial divide in our country and demands we not turn away from its harsh realities." —Amy Canfield, Miami Herald
"Grant Park is a book that’s both socially relevant and a lot of fun." —NewCity
"In the aftermath of this summer's racially motivated mass murder in Charleston, South Carolina, by an avowed white supremacist, there's near-eerie prescience in Pitts' historical novel. . .[Grant Park], with urgency and passion, makes readers aware that the mistakes of the past are neglected at the future's peril." —Kirkus Reviews
"Grant Park is a monumental work, so all-encompassing in scope that reviewers will be hard-pressed to do it justice. Pitts’s passion for a solution holds strong to the end of his novel even as his central character seems to give up. Readers will find Grant Park is real." —Bookpleasures.com
"Grant Park is a thriller, and readers will find themselves turning pages accordingly, although the interior stories of Bob and Malcolm regarding their younger selves may be the real action." —Brian Burnes, The Kansas City Star
|Before I Forget
"Bold in spirit and scope, this is a rare, memorable debut…"
- Publishers Weekly
[A] uniquely American epic . . . Freeman is an important addition to the literature of slavery and the Civil War, by a knowledgeable, compassionate and relentlessly truthful writer determined to explore both enslavement in all it's malignancy and also what it truly means to be free."
- Howard Frank Mosher, Washington Post
"The mos insightful and inspiring columnist of his generation"
- Tavis Smiley
“A must-read for anyone who has ever had a father—or has not.”
- The Miami Herald