The-Trees-UK-cover-1
2023 Shortlist

The Trees

artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

In The Trees, Percival Everett uses the genre of comic supernatural crime fiction for what readers eventually realise is a more serious purpose than we might first expect. All of the usual elements of the genre are here: a series of grisly crimes, a pair of wise-cracking detectives, and a mysterious old lady who lives on the edge of town. The town, in this case, is Money, Mississippi (or, more precisely, the nearby suburb of Small Change), where two horribly mutilated bodies have turned up – one White, one Black. When the body of the deceased Black man disappears from the local morgue, only to reappear inexplicably at another murder scene, we may think that we are in familiar territory for horror fiction. It is not until we realise that the two dead White men are descendants of the men who lynched Emmett Till, the 14-year-old African American who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955, that Everett’s more serious purpose starts to become apparent. Ultimately, The Trees emerges as a passionate and unremitting novel about the legacy of racially-inspired hate crimes in the United States, extending beyond African-Americans to Chinese-Americans and Native Americans. Seldom has a writer turned the disturbing power of horror and supernatural fiction to such an urgent purpose than in this compelling novel.

Percival Everett’s The Trees is a page-turner that opens with a series of brutal murders in the rural town of Money, Mississippi. When a pair of detectives from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation arrive, they meet expected resistance from the local sheriff, his deputy, the coroner, and a string of racist White townsfolk. The murders present a puzzle, for at each crime scene there is a second dead body: that of a man who resembles Emmett Till. The detectives suspect that these are killings of retribution, but soon discover that eerily similar murders are taking place all over the country. Something truly strange is afoot. As the bodies pile up, the MBI detectives seek answers from a local root doctor who has been documenting every lynching in the country for years, uncovering a history that refuses to be buried. In this bold, provocative book, Everett takes direct aim at racism and police violence, and does so in fast-paced style that ensures the reader can’t look away. The Trees is an enormously powerful novel of lasting importance from an author with his finger on America’s pulse.

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Percival
Everett

Percival Everett is a professor of English at the University of Southern California and the author of sixteen books, including Wounded, American Desert, Erasure, and Glyph. He lives in L.A. and British Columbia.

Percival Everett is a professor of English at the University of Southern California and the author of sixteen books, including Wounded, American Desert, Erasure, and Glyph. He lives in L.A. and British Columbia.

We're sorry, but we couldn't find any translators matching your search. Please try using different keywords or check back later as we regularly update our collection.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

The Trees is a powerful social satire of lasting importance. – Free Library of Philadelphia, USA

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
21/02/2021
Country
United States
Original Language
English
Publisher
Graywolf Press

RELATED FEATURES

Audio June 11 2024

All About Books: Katy Conneely, Dublin City FM on the 2024 Dublin Literary Award Ceremony

In her 'All About Books' podcast Katy Conneely attends the Winning Ceremony of the 2024 Dublin Literary Award on 23rd May 2024 and provides some highlights of the ceremony
Video June 5 2024

2024 Dublin Literary Award Winners Mircea Cărtărescu and Sean Cotter In Conversation

Mircea Cărtărescu and Sean Cotter, winners of the 2024 Dublin Literary Award take an in-depth look at the winning title, Solenoid with Alex Clarke as part of International Literature Festival Dublin.
Video May 31 2024

Dublin Literary Award 2024 Winner Announcements Highlights

Romanian author Mircea Cărtărescu and translator Sean Cotter have been announced as winners of the 2024 Dublin Literary Award on Thursday 23rd of May, for the novel Solenoid.
Video May 8 2024

Alexis Wright – Praiseworthy Q&A

Q&A with Alexis Wright, one of the six shortlisted authors for the 2024 Dublin Literary Award in which she discusses her passion for libraries and explores the influences behind her novel Praiseworthy

STAY CONNECTED

Stay in touch and sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates on the Dublin Literary Award.