I read Ravi Howard’s debut novel Like Trees, Walking a little late. As in summer 2015 late. Some seven years after it was originally published and had already won the Ernest Gaines Award and had been named a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award. But it wasn’t the list of accolades that made me buy and read Howard’s book. It was something much simpler. I heard Howard read from his new novel at an AWP panel, and, afterwards, when I went to the exhibit room to buy it, I saw that an older novel he’d written was also for sale on the publisher’s table. I knew I wanted to read the new book Driving The King, but I also hate to be left out of a literary conversation, so in order to listen in I started from the beginning and read the books in order. I’m glad I did. Howard’s first novel, set in Mobile, Alabama, is about a lynching that occurs in the 1980s. Howard’s second novel, set in Montgomery, Alabama, is about a man who saves singer Nat King Cole from a mob and ends up with a job as his chauffeur. Of course, both novels are about so much more.
Read the interview here: The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Ravi Howard
News about Amina’s new collection later this week!