Tearing open the wounds of the past is an uncertain business. When that past involves smoldering racial tension and injustice, it can be incendiary.
Author Greg Iles has learned, however, that dealing with the past also can cauterize what would otherwise fester. When Natchez Burning, the first book in a trilogy that deals bluntly with the complexities of race in Mississippi, began bringing black and white folks together, he felt relief.
“Until it came out, nobody had any idea what would happen,” he said. “But John Evans from Lemuria (Books in Jackson) told me, four months after it came out, ‘You’ve done something that nobody else I’ve seen come through here has done yet. You’ve got white people and black people reading about race.’” Continue reading