Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Seven novels that use mystery to examine race

Erin E. Adams is a first-generation Haitian American writer and theatre artist. She received her BA with honors in literary arts from Brown University, her MFA in acting from The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program, and her MFA in dramatic writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. An award-winning playwright and actor, Adams has called New York City home for the last decade. Jackal is her first novel.

At Electric Lit she tagged seven novels that "explore what it means to be a person of color navigating a justice system rooted in racism." One title on the list:
Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden

A local enforcer on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Virgil Wounded Horse serves as a source of justice outside of the American legal system and the tribal council. When a heroin epidemic overtakes the reservation, Virgil must learn where the drugs are coming from and how to stop them from poisoning the community.

Virgil’s biracial identity and struggling to find belonging is beautifully woven throughout this story. This is a novel that details many facets of life on a rez without shying away from hard truths.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Winter Counts is among S.F. Kosa's top ten psychological thrillers, Stephen Miller's favorite crime fiction of 2020, Molly Odintz's six favorite titles from the "new wave of thrillers where the oppressed get some well-earned revenge," and Jennifer Baker's top twelve mystery novels featuring BIPOC protagonists.

The Page 69 Test: Winter Counts.

My Book, The Movie: Winter Counts.

Q&A with David Heska Wanbli Weiden.

--Marshal Zeringue