"A beautiful, tragic and riveting work."
—Marilyn Dahl, Shelf Awareness
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.
--Publishers Weekly, Starred review
In this masterful first novel, Leonard Pitts, Jr.—already long acclaimed for his Pulitzer Prize-winning work as a columnist—steps forward as a major new voice in fiction.
Title Before I Forget
Edition First Edition
Author Leonard Pitts, Jr.
Title First Published 10 February 2009
Nb of pages 365 p.
GTIN13 (EAN13) 9781932841435
Publication Date 10 February 2009
Nb of pages 365
Dimensions 6 x 9 in.
Weight 16 oz.
List Price $16.00
Nb of pages CCCXXXVI - p.
Nb of pages CCCXXXVI -
List Price $9.99
The sound drew Mo up from the darkness. For a moment he was nowhere, suspended in that place between places, unable even to form the thought to ask himself where he was. Then he heard it again, a thin wheedling. And now Mo was lurching about in his bed, covers tangling about his thighs. His hand flung itself out toward the sound. It landed on something on something cold.
Eyes closed, mind still swimming against sleep, he felt the unknown object. Felt the barrel, felt the trigger guard, felt the grip. When he finally knew what it was his laugh was a short bark, sour as old milk. For all his intentions of suicide, wouldn't it be funny if he accidentally blew his brains out trying to answer the phone?
Before I Forget Press Kit ( pdf 171 KB )
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- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Books on the Root
"Syndicated columnists like Pitts write books. This we know. But those titles are rarely novels. In his fiction debut, the Pulitzer Prize winner tells a fresh story of a '70s soul star who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's and is prompted to reconnect with his own father and troubled son. Apparently, both Jaime Foxx and Don Cheadle have expressed interest in turning the book into a movie. I personally vote for Cheadle."- Felicia Pride, May 26, 2009
A powerful novel about regrets, second chances, forgiveness and responsibility….This is a beautiful, tragic and riveting work. A compelling, moving novel about fathers and sons and what it means to be a man.- Marilyn Dahl, Shelf Awareness
There isn't a sector of the population that hasn't been demeaned by celebrities behaving badly, but talk shows and second-rate movies have diminished the specific question of black male anger to the level of a cliché. In his nonfiction, Pitts has confronted the issue in as heartfelt and honest a way as anyone in the mediasphere. He lifts the level of the discussion and understands the anguish, whatever its source, but has no patience with predetermined rants from any predetermined ranter. And Pitts does not disappoint in this novel.
Leonard Pitts weaves a wonderful story which is both painful and truthful, yet with compassion so the reader is able to view the lives of each of these characters and understand who they are....I recommend this book to all readers who are interested in a well-written story on current topics. This is a wonderful debut novel and I look forward to reading Mr. Pitts' next book.
African American Literature Book Review
I highly recommend Before I Forget! The book is fabulous and unforgettable. I know I won't forget it when I have to compile my 2009 Best Book List at the end of the year. I am putting Pitts down on my 'authors to watch’ list as well. If his first book was this incredible, I cannot wait for his next one.
Pitts tells a marvelous tale of discovery...Pitts gives us a searing, keen-eyed glimpse into a world where heartbreak loiters on the doorsteps of the innocent, where good intentions can be overrun like a brave but outnumbered army, where almost all the luck is bad.- http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2009/042009/04192009/458888
Part thriller and part coming-of-age story, this gripping novel is a reflection of our own lives, with voices from every generation and a soundtrack to take us on the ride. 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 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
Reader comment | May 22, 2009, Sandy Q
AWESOME read! FABULOUS! LOVE Leonard Pitts! Love his columns!