Winner of the 2019 Veterans Writing Award, chosen by Tobias Wolff, Dewaine Farria develops his extraordinary debut novel, Revolutions of All Colors, through exquisite snapshots scattered among decades. In 1996, Ettie Moten is an Oklahoma state prison counselor and single mother raising Simon, the son of a recently deceased Black Panther whom she first met in New Orleans in 1970. But she's not alone. Her longtime colleague Frank Mathis, the deputy warden and a Vietnam veteran, has taken the teenager under his wing alongside his own two sons. As a result, Simon, Michael and Gabriel form a bond of brotherhood that flowers into the 21st century, as they stake their claims on a world that will never cut them slack.
"When you go to war, your soul is at as much hazard as your body. More really," Frank explains to them, but mostly to Simon, dark-skinned, athletic and restless, determined to be a pararescue officer in the Air Force. Michael and Gabriel, on the other hand, are skeptical of the military and rib Simon for his hotheadedness. Nonetheless, he is their protector when their sensitive natures and lighter skin draw scorn from their peers. But Farria carefully teases out the more subtle ways Michael and Gabriel protect Simon in return.
Farria writes with vibrant, breathtaking elegance, unabashed to imbue even bleak corners of the world with shades of humor and simmering sexuality. Revolutions of All Colors radiates adoration and wonder for fighters and their resilience. With singular talent, Farria details the dreams and disappointments of a family he demonstrates deep fondness for, body and soul. --Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness