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A Crime in the Neighborhood – 1999 Winner

Suzanne Berne

In the long hot summer of 1972, three events shattered the serenity of ten year old Marsha’s life: her father ran away with her mother’s sister Ada; Boyd Ellison, a young boy, was molested and murdered; and Watergate made the headlines.

Living in a world no longer safe or familiar, Marsha turns increasingly to ‘the book of evidence’ in which she records the doings of the neighbors, especially of shy Mr Green next door. But as Marsha’s confusion and her murder hunt accelerate, her ‘facts’ spread the damage cruelly and catastrophically throughout the neighborhood.

"I think it was the first time I really saw myself as a novelist. Not as a student or teacher or mother or an “aspiring” anything, but as a novelist."

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