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Novel Examines Life 'After' Police Shooting

In her new novel After, author Marita Golden tells the story of Carson Blake, a police officer whose life is torn apart when he mistakenly shoots and kills an unarmed young man.

An incident in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., inspired the novel, and Golden originally wanted the novel to be told from the perspective of the victim's family.

But as she began to write, she says, the character of Carson Blake became an important voice and eventually "took over the book."

An event from her own life also shaped the novel: Golden says her son was the victim of excessive force when he was stopped by a police officer.

That experience left her feeling impotent, powerless and angry. Golden says the D.C. case "awakened some of that anger" and led to the writing of After.

"Writing this book allowed me to journey into a place where I don't simply see 'the police' anymore when I look at a police officer, but I see a man, I see a woman," she says.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Michele Norris
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