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The tale of Billy Lee Turner, a ten-year-old boy convicted of the murder of a white girl in Mississippi in 1937, illuminates the monstrous face of racism in America with harrowing clarity and power. Narrated in the rich accents of the American South, Billy's story is told amid the picking fields and town streets, the heat, dust and povery of the region in the time of the Depression. Albert French's haunting first novel is a story of racial injustice, as unsentimental as it is heartbreaking.
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The tale of Billy Lee Turner, a black boy convicted of murdering a white girl in 1930s Mississippi, is a powerful story of racial injustice and a haunting evocation of life in the American South.

About the Author

Albert French served four years in the Marines as an infantryman. After the service, he taught himself photography and worked as a medical photographer and staff journalist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In 1981 he created Pittsburgh Preview Magazine, which he published until 1988. He has written several novels, including Holly, I Can't Wait on God and Cinder.


This first novel starkly depicts Billy Lee Turner, a black, ten-year-old boy convicted and executed for the stabbing of a young white girl in 1930s Mississippi. (Feb.)

"Billy is a book that will stay with me in my dreams" -- Tim O'Brien "Although I only knew Billy Lee Turner for an all-too-brief 214 pages, I will mourn his death for the rest of my life" -- Claude Brown "I kept trying to think of a writer who has done a better job of capturing clear, powerful and authentic language, the landscape, the people... I kept searching for comparisons and I kept coming up with masters of the art, from Aeschylus to Ernest Gaines" -- David Bradley "He writes in...in the idiom of his characters, which is rhythmic, expressive, ultimately poetic, and brings William Faulkner to mind" * Independent *

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