The acclaimed author returns to her fictional East L.A. community with a "nuanced, unsentimental portrait" of a young black man's coming of age (Los Angeles Times). Unlike most of Darnell Tucker's friends, he grew up with a father. But at twenty, he finds that following in his father's footsteps is no easy road. Living in the East Los Angeles neighborhood of Rio Seco, Darnell and his wife, Brenda, will soon have a new daughter to raise. But Darnell's job at the California Department of Forestry, where he is the lone black firefighter at station 42, is being cut due to a shortage in funding. As Darnell moves on to endless nights as a security guard, he dreams of setting up his own landscaping business-but the path he's chosen will lead him to fight the sorts of fires any young black man must face in contemporary America. In this moving novel, "Susan Straight opens up a whole world . . . where the language is often not lush but hard and rough as concrete" (Los Angeles Times). With Blacker Than a Thousand Midnights, the National Book Award finalist reaffirms her reputation as "a writer of exceptional gifts and grace" (Joyce Carol Oates).