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by Will D. Campbell
No one in Claughton County ever understood why Doops Momber refused to be baptized: his people were all good Baptists. And no one in Cummings, Mississippi, knew that Kingston Smylie’s daddy was really his granddaddy and that Kingston wasn’t really white. And at Camp Polk, no one knew anything at all about Fordache Arceneau because he spoke only Cajun. They met in basic training. Green kids who’d always felt themselves to be outsiders, they formed a community of three. They called it the neighborhood. After seeing action together at Guadalcanal, the three friends went back to the lives they’d each known, but they went on meeting regularly, keeping up the neighborhood. Their lives were untroubled, until the day Fordache found himself accused of murder, on trial for his life. And in a small Southern courtroom in the autumn of 1952, the neighborhood bound by love and based on understanding faced its ultimate test.
The Glad River is a deeply affecting novel. Grounded in a particular place and time, its themes are, nonetheless, universal. A novel that probes the limits of religion and the state, it is also the work of a master storyteller and civil rights activist whose works are considered a treasure of modern Southern literature.
*Contains strong language, may not be suitable for young readers.
Will D. Campbell is a widely recognized and honored preacher, writer, speaker and civil rights leader. He is a National Book Award finalist and winner of the Lillian Smith Prize and the Christopher Award. In 2000, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal. His major works are nonfiction, telling among others the stories of Mercer University (The Stem of Jesse), a communal farm (Providence), and his own life (Brother to a Dragonfly). He is also an esteemed writer of fiction, including The Glad River, Cecelia’s Sin, and two children’s books. Will and his wife, Brenda, live on a farm in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.