A writer never knows whether they have effectively communicated their ideas until the reader responds.
That’s why reviews are useful. Sure, there are critics who bring an agenda to their reviews, but because a writer’s purpose is to share an idea and communicate a thought, what a reader takes from their work is important. If readers don’t get it, that’s the author’s fault.
I am deeply gratified that the early reviewers of Tomlinson Hill understand what I set out to do. My goal was to use my family’s history, and the story of the descendants of the people my ancestors enslaved, to examine the experiences of whites and blacks in America. As a journalist, I know that one person’s story can illustrate larger truths. I also know that the larger truths place the individual’s experiences in context.
The person who wrote the Kirkus review understood my greatest goal is to start the “honest conversation necessary to begin healing the centuries-old racial rifts that have marred American history.” Beginning July 23 in Austin, I’ll be taking that conversation to cities across Texas and hopefully beyond. I’ll use every means available to let everyone know those dates. Some are already posted here.
For now, I am just deeply grateful for all the people who’ve spent hours talking with me about this book over the last decade, who insights, reaction and wisdom went into Tomlinson Hill. This book would not be as “cleareyed and courageously revealing” without your coaching.
If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy, please use one of the links here to get your copy on July 22. Pre-orders help determine the first run, so every order helps!