This Won’t Be the Pitts

Miami’s Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. can now add “novelist” to his repertoire with the recent publishing of Before I Forget, his auspicious fictional debut. Pitts’s novel tells the story of several generations of black men who — through time and estranged distance — are compelled to face the underpinnings of a fractured filial relationship strained by regret, fear, frustration, and, yes, inevitably, love.

The tale centers around erstwhile '70s R&B phenomenon, James Moses ‘Mo’ Johnson, age 49, whose first sampling of superstardom came in 1974 when he wrote and recorded his first smash record. With fame behind him and an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease before him, Mo’s life is further complicated when he discovers that his father, Jack — who has been unreachable for nearly 30 years — is dying, and that his 19-year-old son, Trey, has gotten himself arrested and jailed.
Tue., April 14, 8 p.m., 2009

 
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