September, September by Shelby Foote
New York : Random House, 1977. First edition, first printing. Stated "first edition" with full number line. Hardcover. 302 pages ; 21 cm. In very good condition with original $8.95 dust jacket, tight binding, clean pages and free of markings.
There were three of them in the car headed north for Memphis: Podjo, an old-time gambler, Vegas-bound and willing to try anything once; Rufus, an ex-college boy turned criminal who weighs risks against years of his life ("and what the hell, it wasn't all that much of a life in the first place")—and Rufus' provocative girlfriend, Reeny, whose ambition is to come "powing" out of cakes.
The news on that hot, clear Wednesday in early September, 1957, couldn't have suited their purposes better. With national attention focused on the racial unrest festering in the South, no one was likely to notice, or care about, the little eight-year-old black boy they planned to kidnap, the son of a businessman whose father-in-law is one of the richest men in town.
While the three kidnappers settle in a house on the Memphis river bluff and begin to work on the details of their ingenious plan, the daily rituals of life go on much as usual for the Kinship family, across town. The plan unfolds—in perfect harmony with the events in Little Rock. But what no one can foresee is that the kidnapping will irrevocably change the lives of all involved —including the family of the little boy who lies drugged in stifling attic heat.
Shelby Foote's impressive career as a novelist was interrupted when he began writing a history of the Civil War. Three volumes—and twenty years—later he had completed a magnificent and lasting achievement, The Civil War: A Narrative. With September September he turns again to the world of fiction and rejoins the ranks of the very best of American novelists.
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