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Before I Forget Paperback – March 20, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 226 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In a seamless transition to fiction, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Pitts Jr. (Becoming Dad) delivers an unsettling, compelling first novel about secrets, illness, and the role of African-American men in society and family life. His absorbing story centers on unmarried father of one Mo Johnson, a faded 1970s soul star living in Baltimore, and diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's at the age of 49. Overwhelmed with regrets, and unable to confess his diagnosis, he sets out to make things right with two men long absent in his life: his teenage son, Trey, an unwed father facing armed-robbery charges; and his father, Jack, now ravaged by cancer. Mo and Trey take a cross-country road trip to visit Jack in his final days, each character a simmering cauldron of secrets, grief, and recrimination about to boil over. Unfolding like a film (big names are already attached to a possible movie adaptation), the novel takes readers to rural 1940s Mississippi, South Central L.A. in the swingin' 1950s, and present-day Las Vegas with immersing dialog and vivid, powerful imagery. Bold in spirit and scope, this is a rare, memorable debut that should net Pitts a wide new expanse of fans.

Review

PRAISE FOR LEONARD PITTS, JR.'S NOVEL BEFORE I FORGET:

"Pitts is a master storyteller with a keen eye for both social trends and the human heart.” —
Tananarive Due, American Book Award winner, author of Blood Colony

"[
Before I Forget] is a beautiful, tragic and riveting work." —Marilyn Dahl, Shelf Awareness--selected as one of top ten novels of 2009

"In a seamless transition to fiction, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Pitts Jr. (
Becoming Dad) delivers an unsettling, compelling first novel about secrets, illness, and the role of African-American men in society and family life.... Bold in spirit and scope, this is a rare, memorable debut that should net Pitts a wide new expanse of fans." —Publishers Weekly

"A gripping story of regret, revenge, unconditional love, acceptance, and ultimately forgiveness." —
Atlanta Daily World

"Laced with taut dialogue and description in a journey of self-discovery and an intense multigenerational pilgrimage." —
AOL Black Voices

"Tough and tender,
Before I Forget is the kind of novel seldom seen anymore, one that tackles the big themes [of] life, death, [and] love head-on, and is at the same time a great read." —Miami Today

"
Before I Forget is a man's story, and Leonard Pitts, Jr. tells it with all the truth and passion we don't always have the courage or confidence to express. I saw myself in this mighty book, strong and weak, but mostly human." —Eddie Levert, Sr., lead singer, The O'Jays, and author of I Got Your Back: A Father and Son Keep It Real About Love, Fatherhood, Family, and Friendship

"Leonard Pitt's powerful depiction of memory loss explores the complexity of the relationship between fathers and sons in an emotionally gripping, must-read journey." —
Lyah Beth LeFlore, author of Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

"I have been reading Leonard Pitts's work for 30 years. he is a one-of-a-kind storyteller, as he proves again with
Before I Forget. This is a terrific book!" —J. Randy Taraborrelli, author of Diana: Call Her Miss Ross


PRAISE FOR LEONARD PITTS, JR.:

"Leonard Pitts, Jr. is the most insightful and inspiring columnist of his generation." —
Tavis Smiley

"He refuses to be predictable or to rest on his considerable laurels. He is funny when you think there's not a smidgen of humor to be found, enraged at the very moment we thought we no longer cared, and he shakes us up just when we're so certain we have it all figured out. In other words, he makes us better for having read him. What a gift. In sparse, often electric prose, Pitts challenges us to be bigger than we thought possible, and then shows us how to get there." —
Connie Schultz, Cleveland Plain-Dealer

"As a long-time reader and admirer, I find there is only one thing to question about Leonard Pitts being awarded the Pulitzer Prize: What took them so long?" —
Bob Costas


PRAISE FOR LEONARD PITTS, JR.'S BECOMING DAD:

"This is a book about black men and fatherhood. But it is also much more....Pitts writes with a sensitivity and an eloquence that illustrate how these problems transcend race and gender. A must-read for anyone who has ever had a father--or has not." —
Miami Herald
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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 1932841431
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Agate Bolden (March 20, 2009)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9781932841435
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1932841435
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 15 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1.11 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 226 ratings

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
226 global ratings

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