Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tim Parrish on Tour

Fear and What Follows: The Violent Education of a Christian Racist, a Memoir is a riveting, unflinching account of Tim Parrish’s (Red Stick Men) spiral into racist violence during the latter years of desegregation in 1960s and 1970s Baton Rouge. In the June issue of Booklist reviewer Ray Olson called the book “a dramatic literary performance.” He went on to say, "This is one of those books that, once read, is never forgotten." 

The narrative of Parrish's descent into fear and irrational behavior begins with bigotry and apocalyptic thinking in his Southern Baptist church. Living a life upon this volatile foundation of prejudice and apprehension, Parrish feels destabilized by his brother going to Vietnam, his own puberty and restlessness, serious family illness, and economic uncertainty. Then a near-fatal street fight and subsequent stalking by an older sociopath fracture what security is left, leaving him terrified and seemingly helpless.

Parrish comes to believe that he can only be safe by allying himself with brute force. This brute influence is a vicious, charismatic racist. Under this bigot's terrible sway Parrish, turns to violence in the street and at school. He is even conflicted about whether he will help commit murder in order to avenge a friend. At seventeen he must reckon with all of this as his parents and neighbors grow increasingly afraid that they are "losing" their neighborhood to African Americans.

Parrish gives specific personal insight to both the psychology of racism and the destructive code of manhood. Fear and What Follows is an unparalleled story of the complex roots of southern, urban, working-class racism and white flight, as well as a story of family, love, and the possibility of redemption.

Tim will be signing and reading his new book at the following times and locations:


  • Thursday, October 10, 6:00 PM at Octavia Books in New Orleans, LA

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