by Kenji Jasper
Thai Williams is walking a thin line between two worlds. On one side he has his job as a filing clerk for the Washington, D.C., Department of Public Works, his girlfriend Sierra, and his plans for going to college. But on the other, darker side there are his friends Snowflake and Ray Ray, men who run the neighborhood streets dodging the dangers of the criminal life and its after-effects. But that thin line disappears when Thai walks in on Sierra with another man, whom he eventually kills in a haze of jealousy and confusion. From there Thai finds himself on the run and away from the five-block stretch where he’s lived for all his life. He finds his way to Charlotte, where Enrique, his closest friend of all, has moved in search of a better life. In the course of the week that follows, Thai encounters a series of men and women who show him aspects of life he never dreamed of in his narrow ghetto existence. All of them are looking for answers, but it is Thai who must find his own path out of the dark and into the clear light of moral responsibility and repentance for his actions.
In his first novel, Kenji has written a haunting portrait of his own urban generation, shadowed (and often erased) by violence, but determined to make their own mark on the world.
- Crown/Archetype, September 2001
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