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IN PERSON AUTHOR TALK: Decent People with De'Shawn Charles Winslow & Kiese Laymon-January 18 @ 7PM CST
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IN PERSON AUTHOR TALK: Decent People with De'Shawn Charles Winslow & Kiese Laymon-January 18 @ 7PM CST


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Join us to celebrate the release of Decent People with Center for Fiction First Novel Prize winner, De'Shawn Charles WInslow & MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow, Kiese Laymon. 

EVENT DEETS

When: January 18 at 7PM CST

Where: TBA

How: RSVP for a free ticket or RSVP with book to support the author and our programming. 

ABOUT DECENT PEOPLE

From prizewinning author De’Shawn Charles Winslow, a sweeping and unforgettable novel of a Black community reeling from a triple homicide, and the secrets the killings reveal.

In the still-segregated town of West Mills, North Carolina, in 1976, Marian, Marva, and Lazarus Harmon—three enigmatic siblings—are found shot to death in their home. The people of West Mills— on both sides of the canal that serves as the town’s color line—are in a frenzy of finger-pointing, gossip, and wonder. The crime is the first reported murder in the area in decades, but the white authorities don’t seem to have any interest in solving the case.

Fortunately, one person is determined to do more than talk. Miss Josephine Wright has just moved back to West Mills from New York City to retire and marry a childhood sweetheart, Olympus “Lymp” Seymore. When she discovers that the murder victims are Lymp’s half-siblings, and that Lymp is one of West Mills’s leading suspects, she sets out to prove his innocence. But as Jo investigates those who might know the most about the Harmons’ deaths, she starts to discover more secrets than she’d ever imagined, and a host of cover-ups—ranging from medical misuse to illicit affairs—that could upend the reputations of many.

For readers of American Spy and Bluebird, Bluebird, Decent People is a powerful new novel about shame, race, money, and the reckoning required to heal a fractured community.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

De'Shawn Charles Winslow is the author of In West Mills, a Center for Fiction First Novel Prize winner, an American Book Award recipient, a Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction winner, and a Los Angeles Times Book Award, Lambda Literary Award, and Publishing Triangle Award finalist. He was born and raised in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

ABOUT CONVERSATION PARTNER

Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon is the Libby Shearn Moody Professor of English and Creative Writing at Rice University. Laymon is the author of Long Division, which won the 2022 NAACP Image Award for fiction, and the essay collection, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, named a notable book of 2021 by the New York Times critics. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Barnes and Noble Discovery Award, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. The audiobook, read by the author, was named the Audible 2018 Audiobook of the Year. Laymon is the recipient of 2020-2021 Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard. Laymon is at work on the books, Good God, and City Summer, Country Summer, and a number of other film and television projects. He is the founder of “The Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Initiative,” a program based out of the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University, aimed at aiding young people in Jackson get more comfortable reading, writing, revising and sharing on their on their own terms, in their own communities. Kiese Laymon was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2022.