Those Bones Are Not My Child
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This suspenseful novel portrays a community--and a family--under siege, during the shocking string of murders of black children in Atlanta in the early 1980s.
Written over a span of twelve years, and edited by Toni Morrison, who calls Those Bones Are Not My Child the author's magnum opus, Toni Cade Bambara's last novel leaves us with an enduring and revelatory chronicle of an American nightmare.
Having elected its first black mayor in 1980, Atlanta projected an image of political progressiveness and prosperity. But between September 1979 and June 1981, more than forty black children were kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and brutally murdered throughout "The City Too Busy to Hate." Zala Spencer, a mother of three, is barely surviving on the margins of a flourishing economy when she awakens on July 20, 1980 to find her teenage son Sonny missing. As hours turn into days, Zala realizes that Sonny is among the many cases of missing children just beginning to attract national attention. Growing increasingly disillusioned with the authorities, who respond to Sonny's disappearance with cold indifference, Zala and her estranged husband embark on a desperate search. Through the eyes of a family seized by anguish and terror, we watch a city roiling with political, racial, and class tensions.