Darktown

Decatur Presbyterian Sanctuary presented by Emory University

Sunday, 3:45-4:30

Darktown delivers a riveting and elegant police procedural set in 1948 Atlanta, exploring a murder, corrupt police, and strained race relations that feels ripped from today's headlines. Responding to orders from on high, the Atlanta Police Department is forced to hire its first black officers, including war veterans Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith. The newly minted policemen are met with deep hostility by their white peers; they aren’t allowed to arrest white suspects, drive squad cars, or set foot in the police headquarters.

Among shady moonshiners, duplicitous madams, crooked lawmen, and the constant restrictions of Jim Crow, Boggs and Smith will risk their new jobs, and their lives, while navigating a dangerous world—a world on the cusp of great change. Set in the postwar, pre-civil rights South, and evoking the socially resonant and morally complex crime novels of Dennis Lehane and Walter Mosley, Darktown is a vivid, smart, intricately plotted crime saga that explores the timely issues of race, law enforcement, and the uneven scales of justice.

Presenters

Thomas Mullen

http://www.thomasmullen.net

Thomas Mullen is the author of The Last Town on Earth, which was named Best Debut Novel of 2006 by USA TODAY. He was also awarded the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for excellence in historical fiction for The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers and The Revisionists. His works have been named to Year’s Best lists by The Chicago Tribune and USA TODAY, among others. His stories and essays have been published in Grantland, Paste, and the Huffington Post, and his Atlanta Magazine true crime story about a novelist/con man won the City and Regional Magazine Award for Best Feature. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and sons.

Interviewer

Jeff Calder

Jeff Calder is a musician, producer, and writer living in Atlanta. He is a member of the legendary Swimming Pool Q’s, whose The A&M Years was selected by Rolling Stone as a Top Ten reissue of 2013. His articles have appeared in in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia Music Magazine and Duke University’s South Atlanta Quarterly. He has also conducted interviews with poets and writers for Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Cover-to-Cover radio show.