In ''The Trees', Percival Everett writes about murder, race, and history : NPR's Book of the Day Percival Everett's page-turning new detective novel The Trees is at once gruesome and screamingly funny. A racial allegory rooted in southern history, the book features two big-city special detectives with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation who are sent to investigate a small-town crime. The murders are hideous in detail, the language is rough, there are racial epithets of all kinds, and somehow the politically incendiary humor is real. Everett talks with NPR's Scott Simon about how — and why — he blended these styles.

Humor, horror and social commentary blend in Percival Everett's detective novel

Humor, horror and social commentary blend in Percival Everett's detective novel

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Graywolf Press
Percival Everett's The Trees
Graywolf Press

Percival Everett's page-turning new detective novel The Trees is at once gruesome and screamingly funny. A racial allegory rooted in southern history, the book features two big-city special detectives with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation who are sent to investigate a small town crime. The murders are hideous in detail, the language is rough, there are racial epithets of all kinds, and somehow the politically incendiary humor is real. Everett talks with NPR's Scott Simon about how — and why — he blended these styles.

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Find out where you can purchase The Trees.

Listen to Scott Simon's original interview with Percival Everett.

Read critic Carole V. Bell's review of The Trees for NPR Books.