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Grace Will Lead Us Home


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About the Author

Jennifer Berry Hawes writes for the Charleston-based Post and Courier, where she spent a decade covering religion and now works on a team that handles in-depth investigative reporting projects for the paper. Her work has won many honors including a Pulitzer Prize, a George Polk Award, a National Headliner Award, and a Dart Award for Journalism & Trauma. She lives in Charleston.


"This magisterial account of the 2015 hate crime and its aftermath, by a Pulitzer-winning local reporter, delivers a heart-rending portrait of life for the survivors and a powerful meditation on the meaning of mercy." --The New York Times Editor's Choice"In Grace Will Lead Us Home, Hawes delivers a rich and powerful account of the events, actors and consequences of the Mother Emanuel tragedy, drawing upon her considerable talents as a decorated investigative journalist." --Charleston Post and Courier "In heartbreaking detail, this tour de force of reportage contrasts the goodness and bravery of the victims with the actions of the dead-eyed killer on a mission of hate." --O, The Oprah Magazine"Fresh and compelling... Hawes captures candid scenes deftly. People are drawn with insight and depth, and the book's pace clips along like that of a cliff-hanger or mystery." --Charleston Magazine "Hawes is a poised writer and a patient observer... She lands the book with moral force and great feeling." --The New York Times (weekday book review)

"Hawes is a talented storyteller, recounting every phase of this saga while focusing on the individual tales of survivors and family members. At once horrifying and inspiring, engaging and thought-provoking, this is a definitive must-read about the Charleston tragedy." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "A groundbreaking, accessible work of investigative reporting." --Library Journal (starred review)"With empathy and kindness, Hawes bears witness to one of the most horrific incidents in recent American history." --Booklist (starred review)

"Grace Will Lead Us Home is more than a recounting of the crime and its aftermath... Hawes reflects on the power of anger, pain, and forgiveness in this moving and personal look at a group of people whose legacies are shaping today's South." --Garden & Gun"In Grace Will Lead Us Home, Jennifer Berry Hawes breathes poetry into tragedy to bring to life the epic grief that haunted a nation's moral imagination. Written like a novel, observed like a sage, and narrated with scholarly rigor, Hawes' stirring account of a dark night in Charleston shows how it seared the American conscience while forcing lionized politicians to find courage, and tin man religious leaders to find a heart, for the people they both claimed to serve. If white supremacy is ever to meet a death knell, this ringing endorsement of fallen yet redeemable humanity will echo loudly in our hearts." --Michael Eric Dyson"The great value of this book is that it tells the stories of the survivors and victims' families on their own terms, in all of their humanity, while also showing us how Charleston's tortured history of racism and gun violence came together on that night in June." --Gabrielle Union"Jennifer Berry Hawes has written a remarkable document on one of the most horrific acts of this young century. But it's her ability to connect a series of carefully-observed scenes--the difference in size and location of two monuments, a Republican governor's story of racism (and the state representative who took out his hearing aid in response), a dialogue between a husband and wife about the biblical Parable of the Sower--that gives this book its power. Together, they evoke the racially charged soil on which this tragic event took place and remind us of the cost of failing to challenge romantic notions of the South's racial history." --Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

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