Say Nice Things About Detroit

W. W. Norton & Company  2012


Divorced and bereft over the death of his young son, lawyer David Halpert pilgrimages to his Detroit suburb to care for his ailing parents. Then he sees it splashed across the front page of the local paper: his high school girlfriend and her black half-brother have been gunned down in the city, one of America’s most notorious. He soon reconnects with their grieving sister, Carolyn, and the two bond over love lost while decoding the web of hatred and prejudice motivating the murders.

In prose as sparse as the streets of the modern Motor City, Say Nice Things About Detroit captures the hopelessness and determination underpinning a blighted city unraveled by racism. Heavy on Detroit geography and hotspots, this novel is a treat for Detroiters who will recognize the socioeconomic divide along Eight Mile as the real tragedy in a city besieged by racial tension. For readers watching Detroit from afar, native Lasser adeptly portrays the conflict that threatens to bankrupt the city.

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