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Before I Forget

Leonard Pitts Jr.

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This powerful novel of three generations of black men bound by blood — and by histories of mutual love, fear, and frustration — gives author Leonard 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 50-year-old Mo tries to reach out to his increasingly tuned-out son Trey (who himself has become an unwed teenaged father), he realizes that the burden of grief and anger he carries over his own estranged father has everything to do with the struggles he encounters with his son. Part road novel, part character study, and part social critique, and written in compulsively readable prose, Before I Forget is the work of a major new voice in American fiction. Pitts knows inside and out the difficulties facing black men as they grapple with the complexities of their roles as fathers.

Publishers Weekly Review

Mar 23, 2009 – In a seamless transition to fiction, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Pitts Jr. (Becoming Dad) delivers an unsettling, compelling first novel about secrets, illness, and the role of African-American men in society and family life. His absorbing story centers on unmarried father of one Mo Johnson, a faded 1970s soul star living in Baltimore, and diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's at the age of 49. Overwhelmed with regrets, and unable to confess his diagnosis, he sets out to make things right with two men long absent in his life: his teenage son, Trey, an unwed father facing armed-robbery charges; and his father, Jack, now ravaged by cancer. Mo and Trey take a cross-country road trip to visit Jack in his final days, each character a simmering cauldron of secrets, grief, and recrimination about to boil over. Unfolding like a film (big names are already attached to a possible movie adaptation), the novel takes readers to rural 1940s Mississippi, South Central L.A. in the swingin' 1950s, and present-day Las Vegas with immersing dialog and vivid, powerful imagery. Bold in spirit and scope, this is a rare, memorable debut that should net Pitts a wide new expanse of fans.
Before I Forget
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  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Mar 01, 2009
  • Publisher: Agate Publishing
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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