The Burning

Frank Norwood, Author Dial Press $21.95 (293p) ISBN 978-0-385-31380-3
Untranslated street slang heightens the realism of Norwood's first novel, which focuses on moments of private terror during one night in the lives of ordinary people sucked into an inner-city riot. In an unnamed city, a bitterly sardonic white police veteran and his rookie partner attempt to safely abort an old black man's teetering tightrope walk across a clothesline strung above the heads of his cheering/jeering neighbors. Ignored, then enraged, the cop draws his gun just as the old man falls to his death. The crowd tears the cop apart and torches the police car as the rookie, disabled by an injured ankle, escapes to the suspect safety of an abandoned building. Media coverage spreads fear among the innocent and anarchy among the outraged. People act heroically and villainously at random: a savage gang leader spares a retarded 10-year-old white boy lost in the melee; the boy's beaten father is spirited to a hospital by a distraught black resident. A drug-addicted Vietnam vet hijacks a bus into the area and blows up a gas station, launching the riot into a major war; meanwhile, a 15-year-old black mother clings to her newfound religion and her baby while she talks the ungrateful rookie cop through the horrific night. As Norwood pins Asian merchants, white transients and black officials to the page without apology, blame or excuse, he yields insight into how such an event can come to pass without pretending to provide any answers. Though overwritten in patches, this is a powerful, memorable debut. Major ad/promo; author tour; British, translation, audio, electronic, performance rights: William Morris Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.