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“… a moving, entertaining, and a truly remarkable debut…”

April 22, 2013

Should’ve posted this when it came out. Apparently the book has fans at Publishers Weekly. After giving the thing a starred review, they followed up by asking me to write a thousand words on favorite books about small towns. I had to scramble to come up with this, but it was definitely fun. Also fun to have PW refer to Opportunity in the intro as:

… a moving, entertaining, and a truly remarkable debut…

The list starts with my friend Nate Blakeslee’s Tulia:

Tulia1. Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town by Nate Blakeslee – In the late 1990s, a crooked anti-drug task force falsely arrested and convicted 47 residents of the Texas Panhandle town of Tulia, population 5,000. The evidence-free sting put a full fifth of Tulia’s small black community behind bars. Blakeslee follows this story of rogue cops and federal drug policies gone wrong to its semi-satisfying conclusion: the eventual overturning of the grossly ill-gotten sentences. Along the way, he shows a small community’s struggles with economic fate and demographic fact, and how internal divisions open the door to exploitation by unscrupulous outsiders. Also: Some people are still basically racist.

The whole piece is HERE.

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