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Then Like The Blind Man: Orbie's Story

Freddie Owens
While fiction about the 1950s Civil Rights era is far from rare, few capture the period and struggles from the perspective of a white child. At nine, Orbie is about to discover he’s no ordinary boy; that nothing is ever precisely what it seems. Prejudice is not innate. The dead aren’t really dead. And those in power cannot be trusted.
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About the Author

Born in Kentucky I grew up in the Detroit suburbs. I would sometimes spend a week or two, once I spent six weeks, in Kentucky, staying with cousins or with my grandparents. It was an entirely different world for me, providing some of the best and worst times of my growing up years. I had a great time on a dairy farm with several of my cousins, milking cows, hoeing tobacco, running over the hills and up and down a creek that surrounded the big farm. I remember too, periods of abject boredom, sitting around my grandparent's old farm house with nothing to do but wander about the red clay yard or kill flies on my grandmother's screened-in back porch. Certain aspects of these growing up years did come to light in the novel, Then Like The Blind Man: ORBIE'S STORY, knowingly at times, and at times spontaneously and distantly, as ghostly north-south structures, as composite personae, as moles and stains and tears and glistening rain and dark bottles of beer, rooms of cigarette smoke, haylofts and pigs. Cormac McCarthy, James Baldwin, Carson McCullers, Raymond Carver and Flannery O'Conner, are among my literary heroes and heroines. Tone and style of these writers have influenced me in ways I'd be hard pressed to name, though the discerning reader might feel such influences as one word follows another and as I attempt to "stab the heart with...force" (a la Isaac Babel) by placing my periods (hopefully, sometimes desperately)"...just at the right place."
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