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Police officer Carson Pierce is cocky and confident and, he believes, untouchable, until the night he pulls over a young man for driving his Lexus without headlights. A brief scuffle leaves the son of an affluent black family dead, his hand holding the cell phone Pierce assumed was a gun.
With a surgeon’s precision, Marita Golden gets inside the mind of a man caught in a nightmare. She traces his descent through a maze of self-recrimination and shame; his bouts of drinking; the humiliation he suffers when his wife and children leave him; and his alienation from his colleagues. As Pierce struggles to put his life back together, Golden creates rich and telling portraits of his family: his devoted wife, Bunny, who watched as years of wearing the “suit”—the phrase she uses to describe her husband’s uniform—changed the man she married; his estranged father; and his son, Juwan, whose uneasy relationship with his father grows more difficult as Juwan accepts his identity as a gay teen.
Marita Golden is known for taking on controversial subjects and uncovering hidden truths. In AFTER, she brings to life the tensions between black policemen and the black community and paints a searing yet compassionate picture of how a man and his family face—and recover from—a life-altering mistake.