Sunday, September 22 at 2PM
JOHN VERCHER & JAMIE MASON
speaking & signing
Three-Fifths, The Hidden Things
Three-Fifths is a riveting debut novel about a bi-racial man whose world is turned upside down when his best friend is released from prison, raising not only his own but old family demons and forcing him to reckon with the past he only thought he knew.
Three-Fifths is about a biracial black man, passing for white, who is forced to confront the lies of his past while facing the truth of his present when his best friend, just released from prison, involves him in a hate crime. Pittsburgh, 1995. The son of a black father he’s never known, and a white mother he sometimes wishes he didn’t, twenty-two year-old Bobby Saraceno has passed for white his entire life. Raised by his bigoted maternal grandfather, Bobby has hidden the truth about his identity from everyone, even his best friend and fellow comic-book geek, Aaron, who has just returned home from prison a newly radicalized white supremacist. Bobby’s disparate worlds crash when, during the night of their reunion, Bobby witnesses Aaron mercilessly assault a young black man with a brick. Fearing for his safety and his freedom, Bobby must keep the secret of his mixed race from Aaron and conceal his unwitting involvement in the crime from the police. But Bobby’s delicate house of cards crumbles when his father enters his life after more than twenty years, forcing his past to collide with his present. Three-Fifths is a story of secrets, identity, violence and obsession with a tragic conclusion that leaves all involved questioning the measure of a man, and was inspired by the author’s own experiences with identity as a biracial man during his time as a student in Pittsburgh amidst the simmering racial tension produced by the L.A. Riots and the O.J. Simpson trial in the mid-nineties.
ABOUT THE HIDDEN THINGS
In less than half a minute, a home-security camera captures the hidden resolve in fourteen-year-old Carly Liddell as she fends off a vicious attack just inside her own front door. The video of her heroic escape appears online and goes viral. As the view count climbs, the lives of four desperate people will be forever changed by what’s just barely visible in the corner of the shot.
Carly’s stepfather is spurred to protect his darkest secret: how a stolen painting—four hundred years old, by a master of the Dutch Golden Age—has come to hang in his suburban foyer. The art dealer, left for dead when the painting vanished, sees a chance to buy back her life. And the double-crossed enforcer renews the hunt to deliver the treasure to his billionaire patrons—even if he has to kill to succeed.
But it’s Carly herself, hailed as a social-media hero, whose new perspective gives her the courage to uncover the truth as the secrets and lies tear her family apart.
ABOUT JOHN VERCHER
John Vercher is a writer currently living in the Philadelphia area with his wife and two sons. He holds a Bachelor's in English from the University of Pittsburgh and an MFA in Creative Writing from the Mountainview Master of Fine Arts program. His fiction has appeared on Akashic Books' Mondays are Murder and Fri-SciFi. and he is a contributing writer for Cognoscenti, the thoughts and opinions page of WBUR Boston. Two of his essays published there on race, identity, and parenting were picked up by NPR, and he has appeared on WBUR's Weekend Edition. His non-fiction has also appeared in Entropy Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @jverch75.
ABOUT JAMIE MASON
Jamie Mason was born in Oklahoma City and grew up in Washington, DC. She’s most often reading and writing, but in the life left over, she enjoys films, Formula 1 racing, football, traveling, and, conversely, staying at home. Jamie lives with her husband and two daughters in the mountains of western North Carolina. She is the author of Three Graves Full, Monday’s Lie, and The Hidden Things.
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