The Committee (Hardcover)
Akashic Books, 9781617757839, 420pp.
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Other Editions of This Title:
"The Committee is a triumph of historical fiction--and a warning from our past. Sterling Watson swiftly and elegantly anchors the reader in an era that many would love to forget, and then reminds us of the humanity within the history. Watson is the rare writer who can address the big ideas--politics and power, love and hate, fear and freedom--without ever losing sight of the characters at the story's heart."
--Michael Koryta, New York Times best-selling author of How It Happened
"Sterling Watson is a rare find among writers as he commands all the elements of great fiction, and he continues to prove this with The Committee. In his latest must-read, Watson uses his great skill to shepherd readers back to 1950s Florida and a terrifying time when unchecked power, driven by hatred and prejudice, destroyed lives."
--Lori Roy, Edgar Award-winning author of Gone Too Long
"Sterling Watson's The Committee shines a bright light on one of the darkest times in our collective history. This multilayered and complex look at how easy--and terrifying--it is for power and hatred to corrupt is a must-read for anyone who still subscribes to the notion that the 1950s were an idyllic time in American history."
--Greg Herren, author of Survivor's Guilt and Other Stories
"Timely and pertinent to today's cultural and political climate, this historical-fiction accounting of the persecution of gay people by the state in the 1950s reveals a part of Florida's past that sowed prejudice against our community for decades. This is a must-read."
--Gale Massey, author of The Girl from Blind River
The Committee is set in a sleepy late 1950s Florida university city. Its characters--professors, students, townspeople rich and poor, and politicians--are both typical of such a place and unusual, even bizarre, for the challenges they face and the changes they undergo when their lives are suddenly disrupted by the nefarious workings of a shadowy group of men, The Committee, who use the powers of government and the police to investigate and reveal the most private acts of innocent men and women.
This is a story of love, both licit and hidden, war, friendship, betrayal, compromise, and finally the necessity to stand firm against the encroachments upon freedom by men who believe they do God's and the government's righteous work. Set against the backdrop of political turmoil and the clash of classes and cultures--Southern, academic, patrician, and demimonde--The Committee pits protagonist Tom Stall, scholarly, ambitious, and rising in his world of teaching and administration, against two men and a woman--a colleague, a university president, and an old friend turned deadly enemy--in a struggle for the soul of a town, a university, and an ideal.
Tension and suspense build with crushing inevitability as hidden forces and unforeseen events threaten Stall's career and finally his very life.