Fire In A Canebrake author Laura Wexler was interviewed recently on National Public Radio's Morning Edition about her book. Wexler described the challenges she faced in her investigation of America's last mass lynching, and what she discovered.
Listen to the interview.
Visit the NPR Web site for more details about Fire In A Canebrake.
"Fire in a Canebrake is so honest, so meticulous, so graceful in recreating a tragedy it somehow transcends the specific events of postwar rural Georgia and speaks instead, in some ineffable way, to America's most enduring pathology. Four bodies fall in a quiet, barely marked place-and yet by the end of the tale, Laura Wexler has us thinking about the thousands lynched across this country, about law and sin, about complicity, corruption and national denial. We begin to get clean when we begin to remember."
--David Simon, author of The Corner: A Year in the
Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood.
"This is an outstanding work of narrative journalism, a book about murders and cover-ups that gleams with the plain beauty of truth-telling."
--Melissa Fay Greene, author of Praying For Sheetrock
"Fire In A Canebrake is in the tradition of the very best history of American race relations. It's also in the tradition of crime writing so vivid that it surpasses fiction. This is Truman Capote's In Cold Blood with the added fuel of race, sex and the quirks of southern culture."
-- Juan Williams, author of Eyes on the Prize
"Laura Wexler's insightful, well-researched account of the Moore's Ford lynchings of 1946 is a stone that has long been missing from the edifice of modern Southern history."
-- Philip Dray, author of At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America.
"A searing, masterfully written, meticulous work that shines a brutally honest light on a dark moment from our not-so-distant-past. Laura Wexler's page turner is vivid, engrossing and stunningly sad. A must read."
-- Dave Isay, award-winning public radio producer and author of Flophouse
"Wexler restores an all-but-forgotten event to our memories and our bones. The details - from the weave of the rope to what the victims ate that day - are so exact and terrible that I winced as I read."
-- Pagan Kennedy, author of Black Livingstone: A True Tale of Adventure in the Nineteenth-Century Congo.
"The power of history is its shelf life, its radioactivity once exposed to light. Laura Wexler's Fire in a Canebrake is an excellent case in point."
-- John Egerton, author of Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South.
"Only a few daytime feet separated the consciences of the white lynchers from the four bound blacks they were eager to kill. And it is precisely in that tense space where Laura Wexler's disturbing account of the Moore's Ford murders resides. In that terrifying and familiar place we call home."
-- James Allen, editor Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America