Finalist for the 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
Tomb of the Unknown Racist
by Blanche McCrary Boyd
Blanche’s first novel in twenty years continues the story of her compelling and edgy protagonist Ellen Burns. When TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN RACIST opens in 1999, Ellen—now sober, haunted by her activist past, her failed relationships, the world at large—is peacefully taking care of her demented mother in South Carolina. Ellen’s brother Royce was a celebrated novelist who, a decade earlier, saw his work adopted by racists and fell under the sway of white supremacy. Ellen thought him dead from a botched FBI raid on his compound. But when his estranged daughter turns up on the news, claiming he might be responsible for kidnapping her two mixed-race children, Ellen travels to New Mexico to help her newfound niece. The book chronicles Ellen’s search for Royce, her descent into the dark abyss of the burgeoning race war of our country, and the confrontation that occurs when she learns the truth about her family’s past.
TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN RACIST is a thrilling novel set in the shadow of the Oklahoma City bombing and the subculture of white supremacy and deep state government that is horribly applicable to today’s news cycle. A family story set against political and racial struggle, it is based on real life events surrounding William Luther Pierce, Timothy McVeigh, and the Oklahoma City Bombing. The tour de force end to a trilogy, that like no other fiction, has offered a survey of politics and activism across the American experience.