Café au Libris: Thomas Mullen

Photo of author Thomas Mullen

Tuesday, April 17, 7:00 p.m.

Thomas Mullen is the author of Darktown, an NPR Best Book of the Year, which has been shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Southern Book Prize, the Indies Choice Book Award, and has been nominated for two CWA Dagger Awards; The Last Town on Earth, which was named Best Debut Novel of 2006 by USA Today and was awarded the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for excellence in historical fiction; The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers; andThe Revisionists. His most recent novel, Lightning Men, which follows the characters from Darktown two years later, was published in September 2017.

Book cover of Lightning Men.

Lightning Men - Officer Denny Rakestraw and “Negro Officers” Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith have their hands full in an overcrowded and rapidly changing Atlanta. It’s 1950 and racial tensions are simmering as black families, including Smith’s sister, begin moving into formerly all-white neighborhoods. When Rake’s brother-in-law launches a scheme to rally the Ku Klux Klan to “save” their neighborhood, his efforts spiral out of control, forcing Rake to choose between loyalty to family or the law.

Book cover of Darktown.

Across town, Boggs and Smith try to shut down the supply of white lightning and drugs into their territory, finding themselves up against more powerful foes than they’d expected. Battling corrupt cops and ex-cons, Nazi brown shirts and rogue Klansmen, the officers are drawn closer to the fires that threaten to consume the city once again.

Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Upcoming Events

Photo of author Rebecca Davis

Café au Libris: Rebecca Davis

Sunday, May 20, 3:00 p.m.

Join us on May 20th at 3:00 p.m. to hear author Rebecca Davis talk about her book, Justice Leah Ward Sears: Seizing Serendipity. Book signing and reception to follow.

This is the first full biography of Justice Leah Ward Sears. In 1992 Sears became the first woman and youngest justice to sit on the Supreme Court of Georgia. In 2005 she became the first African American woman to serve as chief justice of any state supreme court in the country. This book explores her childhood in a career military family; her education; her early work as an attorney; her rise through Georgia’s city, county, and state court systems; and her various pursuits after leaving the supreme court in 2009, when she transitioned into a life that was no less active or public.

Book cover

As the biography recounts Sears’s life and career, it is filled with instances of how Sears made her own luck by demonstrating a sharpness of mind and sagacious insight, a capacity for grueling hard work, and a relentless drive to succeed. Sears also maintained a strict devotion to judicial independence and the rule of law, which led to decisions that would surprise conservatives and liberals alike, earned the friendship of figures as diverse as Ambassador Andrew Young and Justice Clarence Thomas, and solidified a reputation that would land her on the short list of replacements for two retiring U.S. Supreme Court justices.

As a woman, an African American, a lawyer, and a judge, Sears has known successes as well as setbacks. Justice Leah Ward Sears shows that despite political targeting, the death of her beloved father, a painful divorce, and a brother’s suicide, she has persevered and prevailed.

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