Archives par étiquette : David Black Literary Agency

THE BARN de Wright Thompson

A shocking and revelatory account of the murder of Emmett Till that lays bare how forces from around the world converged on the Mississippi Delta in the long lead-up to the crime, and how the truth was erased for so long.

The Secret History of a Murder in Mississippi
by Wright Thompson
Penguin Press, September 2024
(via David Black Literary Agency)

Wright Thompson’s family farm in Mississippi is 23 miles from the site of one of the most notorious and consequential killings in American history, yet he had to leave the state for college before he learned the first thing about it. To this day, fundamental truths about the crime are widely unknown, including where it took place and how many people were involved. This is no accident: the cover-up began at once, and it is ongoing.

In August 1955, two men, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, were charged with the torture and murder of the 14-year-old Emmett Till in Money, Mississippi. After their inevitable acquittal in a mockery of justice, they gave a false confession to a journalist, which was misleading about where the long night of hell took place and who was involved. In fact, Wright Thompson reveals, at least eight people can be placed at the scene, which was inside the barn of one of the killers, on a plot of land within the six-square-mile grid whose official name is Township 22 North, Range 4 West, Section 2, West Half, fabled in the Delta of myth as the birthplace of the blues on nearby Dockery Plantation.

Even in the context of the racist caste regime of the time, the four-hour torture and murder of a Black boy barely in his teens for whistling at a young white woman was acutely depraved; Till’s mother Mamie Till-Mobley’s decision to keep the casket open seared the crime indelibly into American consciousness. Wright Thompson has a deep understanding of this story—the world of the families of both Emmett Till and his killers, and all the forces that aligned to place them together on that spot on the map. As he shows, the full horror of the crime was its inevitability, and how much about it we still need to understand. Ultimately this is a story about property, and money, and power, about white supremacy. It implicates all of us. In THE BARN, Thompson meets the few people who have been engaged in the hard, fearful business of bringing the truth to light, people like Wheeler Parker, Emmett Till’s friend, who came down from Chicago with him that summer, and is the last person alive to know him well. Wheeler Parker’s journey to put the killing floor of the barn on the map of Township 22 North, Range 4 West, Section 2, West Half, and the Delta, and America, is a journey we all need to go on if this country is to heal from its oldest, deepest wound.

Wright Thompson is a senior writer for ESPN and the bestselling author of Pappyland and The Cost of These Dreams. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi with his family.

BLUE HOTEL de Dann McDorman

BLUE HOTEL’s puzzle-like structure, in which each new section of the novel alters the reader’s understanding of what came before, accompanies a deeply felt meditation on death, the nature of reality, and our reasons for being and non-being.

by Dann McDorman
Knopf, Spring 2025
(via David Black

A man wakes up in a room with no idea where he is or how he got there. The room has no door nor windows. He has no way to tell the time. He has nothing to eat except for the endless cartons of Cup O’ Noodles (Original flavor) with which he is tormented by his captors. The stubble on his chin doesn’t grow. He loses his mind; he gets his back. Then one day, one hour, one minute, a vintage black typewriter appears on the desk, gleaming like a beetle. He warily taps out his name: J-O-H-N T-H-O-M-A-S. He sits down and begins to write…
Thus begins BLUE HOTEL, during which readers follow John Thomas as he tries to solve the mystery of his imprisonment. His surprising escape, and the discovery of what lies outside his room, launches an exploration during which readers will encounter a strange menagerie of characters: doomsday cultists, a Reality Studies professor, a Big Tech billionaire, an immortal chatbot, a woman who thought she could fly, and two sisters who speak to the dead — plus a few other, rather more surprising personalities…
BLUE HOTEL, Dann McDorman’s follow-up to
West Heart Kill, features his trademark mixture of plot twists and philosophical inquiry. It’s a novel filled with bizarre facts and heretical histories, ranging from the origins of artificial intelligence to 19th century revolutionary politics in Canada. BLUE HOTEL’s puzzle-like structure, in which each new section of the novel alters the reader’s understanding of what came before, accompanies a deeply felt meditation on death, the nature of reality, and our reasons for being and non-being.

Dann McDorman is an Emmy-nominated TV news producer, who has also worked as a newspaper reporter, book reviewer, and cabinet maker. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.

THE AMISH WIFE de Gregg Olsen

The bestselling author Gregg Olsen solves a murder among the Amish and reveals the conspiracy to keep it a secret in a heartbreaking and horrifying true-crime story, THE AMISH WIFE.

Unraveling the Lies, Secrets, and Conspiracy That Let a Killer Go Free
by Gregg Olsen
Thomas & Mercer, January 2024
(via David Black Literary Agency)

What if the first true crime story you ever wrote (Abandoned Prayers) had loose ends that haunted you for more than thirty years?

What if you had a second chance to right a wrong, solve a murder, and bring justice to a woman who had none?

Would you take a second bite of the apple?

Gregg Olsen didn’t think twice. A call from an Amish farmer brought Olsen back into a story that never left him and gave him the chance to answer the question once and for all.

Who killed Ida Stutzman?

The young, pregnant Ohio Amish woman died in a barn fire. Her death was declared by natural causes. Soon after, her husband, Eli Stutzman, sold the farm, left the faith, and set off on an odyssey of sex, drugs, and erratic behavior that would culminate in the death of his and Ida’s young son, Danny—a mysterious crime (“Little Boy Blue of Chester, Nebraska”) that gained national attention and inspired Olsen’s true crime classic, Abandoned Prayers.

Now, in THE AMISH WIFE: Unraveling the Lies, Secrets, and Conspiracy That Let a Killer Go Free, Gregg Olsen revisits the Stutzman story and the niggling questions surrounding the events that took Ida’s life 45 years ago.

Why did the coroner so quickly rule the young mother’s death heart failure? Why didn’t the county sheriff investigate the circumstances behind her death? How come Ida’s relatives repressed their doubts about her death and never publicly expressed their concerns—even after all this time?

The answers were found between the two worlds that Eli Stutzman inhabited—the gay and Amish.

Gaining greater access than most outsiders are afforded, Olsen takes readers deep into the circumscribed world of an Amish community and beyond as he pieces together the puzzle surrounding Ida’s death. The gay men in Eli’s life Olsen met more than three decades ago, like the Amish, were freer in 2022 to speak a truth they’d kept silent out of a fear that has lessened over the years.

Just how much did a conspiracy of silence shared by inhabitants of two very different words become complicit in an Amish wife’s death and, later, her son’s?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Gregg Olsen has written more than thirty books, including If You Tell, Lying Next to Me, The Last Thing She Ever Did, and two novels in the Nicole Foster series, The Sound of Rain and The Weight of Silence. His last true crime book, If You Tell, found a home on Amazon Charts for more than 180 weeks and was the bestselling Kindle eBook of 2020 (and the second bestselling of 2021). He has appeared on Good Morning America, Dateline, Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and MSNBC and been featured in Redbook, People, Salon, the Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times, and New York Post. His fiction and nonfiction works have appeared on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller lists. A Seattle native, he lives with his wife in rural Washington State.

WEST HEART KILL de Dann McDorman

Spoiler alert: the detective dies.

by Dann McDorman
Knopf, October 2023
(via David Black Literary Agency)

When Detective Adam McAnnis first shows up at club West Heart in upstate New York, his motivations for being there are unclear. But when a dead body is found shortly after his arrival, everyone at the club is suspect. The complication? The folk of West Heart have their own language—the language of high society—and Detective McAnnis is an outsider. In order to solve the murder, McAnnis must not only sleuth for clues but infiltrate a tight-knit community that has no intention of ratting out one of their own.

As the investigation unfolds and another body is discovered, McAnnis finds himself in a race against time and a fight for justice in which he seems to be the sole champion of truth. The reader finds themselves dragged into the story, both as voyeur and accomplice, guided by an irreverent narrator with a flair for the dramatic. And when Detective McAnnis becomes the third body to drop in the small upstate New York community, it is up to the members themselves to step up to the challenge and find the person responsible.

WEST HEART KILL is Dann McDorman’s debut novel, though it reads as a seasoned author’s mystery. McDorman showcases for the first time his unmatched skill in building a narrative that actively weaves the reader into its threads. As the story progresses, the reader becomes more and more entrenched in the plot, eventually turning into a character in their own right as the plot unravels and the book radically changes form. West Heart Kill is a classic in the making, and readers are sure to walk away transformed.

Dann McDorman is an Emmy-nominated TV news producer, who has also worked as a newspaper reporter, book reviewer, and cabinet maker. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.

GOOD GIRLS de Leesa Gazi

A stunning literary novel of thrilling suspense by writer and filmmaker Gazi, and translated by Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Nadiya.

by Leesa Gazi and translated by Shabnam Nadiya
Amazon Crossing, December 2023
(via David Black Literary Agency)

For sisters Lovely and Beauty, home is a prison under the toxic watch of their controlling, abusive mother, Farida Khanam. The girls are each locked in their own rooms, their own gilded cages, and have never been allowed to leave the house by themselves. GOOD GIRLS opens and it’s Lovely’s 40th birthday, the day Farida will give Lovely the freedom to go to the Gausia Market alone. “Today was the day for everyone to be what they weren’t, or perhaps be what they were.” With a tragic foreboding, we know today is the day that will change everything.

Taking place over the span of a single day, GOOD GIRLS unfolds in page-turning slow-motion, as Lovely interacts with the outside world, as the secrets of their lives in captivity emerge, and as she battles the man inside her head. With masterful precision and lyrical prose, Gazi and Nadiya grab us from the opening pages with a sinister premise: what does a 40-year-old woman who has never been granted freedom for a few hours do? Farida’s tautly constructed world begins to unravel as temptations, demons and the past come to haunt each of them. Good Girls explores the emotional violence of the matriarchy as well as the patriarchy’s suffocating effort to keep women within four walls. Lovely and Beauty show us the cost of freedom.

GOOD GIRLS was originally published in Bengali in 2010 by Sucheepatra Publishers, under the title Hellfire. It was published in English in India by Eka/Westland Books (Sept 2020) and was shortlisted for the Kâpylä Translation Prize. Listed by Words Without Borders as One of the Best Translated Books of 2020.

Leesa Gazi is a Bangladeshi British author, theater practitioner, award-winning filmmaker, and joint artistic director of the London-based arts organization Komola Collective. She has dedicated her career to presenting stories from women’s perspectives. Multiple plays written and translated by Gazi toured nationally and internationally. She was the cowriter and performer of the play Birangona: Women of War, nominated for the Offies (UK), which she later developed into the documentary feature Rising Silence, which sheds light on the lives of sexual violence survivors in the aftermath of the Bangladesh Liberation War.