Bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz is one of this country's foremost writers on the ever explosive issue of race. In this gripping and ultimately profound book, Kotlowitz takes us to two towns in southern Michigan, St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, separated by the St. Joseph River. Geographically close, but worlds apart, they are a living metaphor for America's racial divisions: St. Joseph is a prosperous lakeshore community and ninety-five percent white, while Benton Harbor is impoverished and ninety-two percent black.
When the body of a black teenaged boy from Benton Harbor is found in the river, unhealed wounds and suspicions between the two towns' populations surface as well. The investigation into the young man's death becomes, inevitably, a screen on which each town projects their resentments and fears. The Other Side of the River sensitively portrays the lives and hopes of the towns' citizens as they wrestle with this mystery—and reveals the attitudes and misperceptions that undermine race relations throughout America.
Selected for Common Reading at the following colleges and universities:
Western Carolina University