“So many of the characters in Decent People are on a quest for respectability–– their own and/or that of their children. I wanted to show what lengths people would go to just to conceal truths: a child’s queerness, an addiction, hypocrisy. I don’t know that I was going for nuance, exactly. I think I was just portraying people the way I’ve often encountered them. ” ―De’Shawn Charles Winslow, interview, PEN America
What booksellers are saying about Decent People
- A complex, engaging story of a small Southern town grappling with racial justice, human rights, religion and murder in the mid 1970’s. Family ties and long-buried secrets are tested as a woman fights to clear the name of her beloved. An absolute page-turner filled with colorful characters in a rich setting.
―Jamie Fiocco from Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC | Buy from Bookmarks
- Decent People is a compelling mystery that also deftly contends with racism, homophobia, classism and corruption. Charles De’Shawn Winslow’s fluid writing and pacing combine with wonderfully drawn characters–including the glorious busybody Josephine Wright–to make a truly marvelous novel.
―Stephanie Jones-Byrne from Malaprop’s in Asheville, NC | Buy from Malaprops
- The shooting deaths of two sisters and their brother, prominent members of the African-American community, set tongues wagging in West Mills, NC. Except for those holding their voice over secrets. Told from alternating perspectives, the mystery unfolds amid lives threatened by the racism and homophobia of the 1960s and 1970s. This is a great read on so many levels, can’t wait to hand sell this one.
―Jessica Nock from Main Street Books in Davidson, NC | Buy from Main Street Books
About De’Shawn Charles Winslow
De’Shawn Charles Winslow is the author of In West Mills, a Center for Fiction First Novel Prize winner and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Lambda Literary Award, and Publishing Triangle Awards finalist. He was born and raised in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and now lives in New York.