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YA Author Chris Crowe Talks on Civil Rights and Historical Fiction

Chris Crowe

Award-winning young-adult writer, Chris Crowe, delivered two talks on October 28 on the USU campus. The author of Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case and Mississippi Trial, 1955 delivered a powerful speech on the history of civil rights, reaching back to legal documents of Colonial America that categorized slaves as property. USU student William Bowden said, “Given the current political climate and the revival of racial divisions, it was a reminder of how accomplishing equality will take less fighting and more working together.”

The second talk on writing historical fiction offered advice to novice authors. He drew not only on his civil rights publications but also on Death Comes Up the Hill about a teenager dealing with the turmoil of 1968, a year that saw the escalation of the Vietnam War. A tour de force novel written in haiku, Crowe explained the numerology behind the narrative. USU student Kortnee Craig said of the talk, “The biggest take away for me is to be curious. He said that questions lead to break throughs, not just books.”

Crowe’s talks were part of the Department of English Speaker Series and was jointly sponsored by the Utah Humanities’ Book Festival. KUSU-FM interviewed Crowe, which can be listened to at this site: http://upr.org/post/chris-crowe-and-current-race-issues-utah-and-america-tuesdays-access-utah.