Wednesday, May 27, 2009
at 6:27 AM | |
Before I Forget
Leonard Pitts Jr.
In this masterful first novel, Leonard Pitts, Jr.—already long acclaimed for his Pulitzer Prize winning work as a columnist—steps forward as a major new voice in fiction.
Before I Forget is the story of these three generations of black men bound by blood, and by histories of mutual love, fear, and frustration—gives Pitts the opportunity to explore the painful truths of black men's lives, especially as they play out in the fraught relations of fathers and sons. As Mo tries to reach out to the increasingly tuned-out Trey (who himself has become an unwed teenaged father), he realizes that the burden of grief and anger he carries over his own father has everything to do with the struggles he encounters with his son.
Before I Forget is the work not only of a masterful new voice in American fiction, but of a man who knows inside and out the difficulties facing black men as they grapple with their roles as fathers—and more than anything, the crucial importance of fulfilling that role in all of their lives. This is one of the most important debut novels of 2009, by a writer certain to win a much acclaim for his fiction as for his highly regarded journalism. MORE