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A Life for a Life: A Novel

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A Life for a Life: A Novel

By Ernest Hill

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Format: Paperback, 240 pages
Other Information: black & white illustrations
Published In: United States, 01 August 1998
From the acclaimed author of "Satisfied with Nothin'" comes a searing and unsparing story of the unlikely bond between an African-American father and the teenager who killed his son, a tale of violent self-destruction reclaimed by the inexhaustible power of love and forgiveness.

In "A Life for a Life," Ernest Hill explores the volatile emotional terrain of a black youth's coming of age in rural Louisiana. When a local drug dealer threatens to kill D'Ray Reid's kid brother unless he comes up with $100 within an hour, D'Ray decides to hold up a convenience store in a nearby town. The young clerk at the cash register attempts to foil the robbery and in the scuffle D'Ray shoots and kills him. What follows is an absorbing drama in which D'Ray becomes a fugitive with a lengthening resume of violent crime. Yet it is ultimately in the person of Henry Earl, the slain boy's father, that D'Ray sees his future. When he is forced to reckon with his destruction of the boy's family, D'Ray finds that Henry Earl is his only advocate and the person who will ask of him what no one, not even his family, had ever asked before.

"A Life for a Life" witnesses the resuscitation of two lives by love, forgiveness, and gratitude. The relationship that develops between D'Ray Reid and Henry Earl is nothing short of miraculous: Their discovery of humanity and harmony in the most unlikely place will reverberate in readers' memories.

About the Author

ERNEST HILL is Writer-in-Residence at Southern College. A LIFE FOR A LIFE is his second novel.

Reviews

Dennis A. Williams "author of "Crossover" and "Somebody's Child" In "A Life for a Life, " Ernest Hill presents a compelling fable of despair and redemption -- and an enduring image of the power of fatherhood. Robert L. Harris, Jr. "Associate Professor of African-American History, Cornell University From a tale of tragedy, Ernest Hill poignantly extracts a compelling story of the love, faith, integrity, and perseverance that have sustained black families and that have been the central ingredients in transforming boys into men. Robert Olen Butler "Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain""A Life for a Life" is a dazzling and profound tale of cosmic fate and social forces, of violence and forgiveness and redemption. With this novel Ernest Hill clearly establishes himself as one of our finest writers. Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D. "Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Judge Baker Children's Center "A Life for a Life" is an engrossing book, an inspiration to black youth who often must cope with a crime- and drug-infested environment. D'Ray's transformation is a tribute to the strong kinship bonds that have sustained the black community. Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D."Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Judge Baker Children's Center"A Life for a Life" is an engrossing book, an inspiration to black youth who often must cope with a crime- and drug-infested environment. D'Ray's transformation is a tribute to the strong kinship bonds that have sustained the black community. Robert L. Harris, Jr."Associate Professor of African-American History, Cornell UniversityFrom a tale of tragedy, Ernest Hill poignantly extracts a compelling story of the love, faith, integrity, and perseverance that have sustained black families and that have been the central ingredients in transforming boys into men. Robert Olen Butler"Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain""A Life for a Life" is a dazzling and profound tale of cosmic fate and social forces, of violence and forgiveness and redemption. With this novel Ernest Hill clearly establishes himself as one of our finest writers. Dennis A. Williams"author of "Crossover" and "Somebody's Child"In "A Life for a Life," Ernest Hill presents a compelling fable of despair and redemption -- and an enduring image of the power of fatherhood.

EAN: 9780743281607
ISBN: 0743281608
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Dimensions: 23.57 x 15.62 x 1.35 centimetres (0.34 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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