American Gospel (Paperback)
A low-income Baltimore neighborhood is targeted for a controversial urban renewal project-an amusement park in the theme of Baltimore itself-that forces its residents to reckon with racism, displacement, and their futures. Peter Cryer is a queer teenager who fantasizes about leaving Baltimore and the instability of his home life while also seeking a place to belong. Ruth Anne, his prickly mother, is terrorized by her estranged husband and the indecision of what to do after the wrecking ball comes through her neighborhood. Thomas, a cleric and History teacher at Peter's school, questions his vocation in the face of the neighborhood's destruction. These three voices braid together a portrait of a neighborhood in flux, the role of community and violence in our time, and the struggles of a very real and oft misunderstood city.