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Winner of the 2003 Black Caucus American Library Association’s First Novelist Award, The Emperor of Ocean Park offers a nuanced consideration of the complexities of power, race, class, and politics in America. Set among the affluent echelons of Black society, Stephen L. Carter’s 2002 fiction debut follows Ivy League law professor Talcott Garland as he investigates the possibly suspicious death of his father, disgraced conservative judge Oliver Garland, only to discover a decades-spanning web of dangerous family secrets. Part legal thriller, part murder mystery, the highly-anticipated novel—for which Carter received a $4.2 million advance—was the first-ever pick for the Today show book club, spent 11 weeks on the New York Times best seller list, and is being adapted into a forthcoming television series by MGM+. —Megan McCluskey

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