Them by Nathan McCall
A Novel

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Synopsis

The author of the bestselling memoir Makes Me Wanna Holler presents a profound debut novel -- in the tradition of Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities and Zadie Smith's White Teeth -- that captures the dynamics of class and race in today's urban integrated communities.

Nathan McCall's novel, Them, tells a compelling story set in a downtown Atlanta neighborhood known for its main street, Auburn Avenue, which once was regarded as the "richest Negro street in the world."

The story centers around Barlowe Reed, a single, forty-something African American who rents a ramshackle house on Randolph Street, just a stone's throw from the historic birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Barlowe, who works as a printer, otherwise passes the time reading and hanging out with other men at the corner store. He shares his home and loner existence with a streetwise, twentysomething nephew who is struggling to get his troubled life back on track.

When Sean and Sandy Gilmore, a young white couple, move in next door, Barlowe and Sandy develop a reluctant, complex friendship as they hold probing -- often frustrating -- conversations over the backyard fence.

Members of both households, and their neighbors as well, try to go about their business, tending to their homes and jobs. However, fear and suspicion build -- and clashes ensue -- with each passing day, as more and more new whites move in and make changes and once familiar people and places disappear.

Using a blend of superbly developed characters in a story that captures the essence of this country's struggles with the unsettling realities of gentrification, McCall has produced a truly great American novel.
 

About Nathan McCall

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Nathan McCall, author of Makes Me Wanna Holler, has worked as a journalist for The Washington Post. Currently, he teaches in the African American Studies Department at Emory University and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
 
Published November 6, 2007 by Atria Books. 353 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Them

USA Today

But McCall makes us understand and then sympathize with Barlowe, only one generation removed from the Jim Crow South.

| Read Full Review of Them: A Novel

About.com Bestsellers

Them is not only a page turning story with well developed characters and voice, it is also a thought-provoking look at race relations in 2007 America.ProsMcCall captures characters' voices and motives with skillThem will get you thinking about race in AmericaThe story will keep you readingConsSom...

| Read Full Review of Them: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., imagined a world in which black children and white children would play together and grow up together.

Jan 31 2008 | Read Full Review of Them: A Novel

Reader Rating for Them
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