Book: Dying Embers by Glenn Trustcategories: Book, Coming of Age, Friendship, Race Relations, Slavery, Segregation, Desegregation, Love, South, Georgia, Integration, Literary Fiction
Glenn Trustabout this book: Dying Embers is my personal favorite of all of the books I have written. Perhaps that is because I lived it as a youth. Although it takes place in the 1960's during desegregation in the south, in my mind it deals with a topic that is relevant today.
Writing about the changing of accepted culture and society to be inclusive of those who have been oppressed was a topic that I wanted to treat fairly. I grew up in the south. I love the south. I know the south, and I know that as much as we want to paint everything in black and white the truth is often more gray.
In the end, good people did very bad things. They did them because we as humans tend to accept the reality that is presented to us from birth without question. It become our truth and we look at the rest of our lives through that prism.
That is not an excuse for the bad things they did, but it is a truth that those who sit in judgment from outside should understand. Fortunately, there were courageous souls, black and white, who pulled themselves out of the reality they had been born into and showed us a better way, a more just way.
As I always say, most of the characters in Dying Embers are not perfectly good or bad. They are more complicated than that, as we all are. There are some truly evil people portrayed in the book, but there are more simple people who love their families and try to do the right thing despite the cultural mores of the day.
If you choose to read Dying Embers, I hope you will see the beauty and charm of the place I grew up. I can think of few other places that could have pulled itself out of the darkness of slavery and oppression with as much societal grace as did the south. Although the embers of hatred still smolder in some places, a new south has been built on the ashes of the old. It is, and always will be, a beautiful place to me.
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