Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones


I grew up in a small rapidly, growing town outside of Atlanta when children, mostly young African-american males, went missing. Their bodies dumped in various parts of the metro area.  This book gave me a completely different view of the fear these murders invoked in me as a child. The story is told from the viewpoint of children living near the kidnappings. Our parents sheltered us from a lot of the reality. Some thought the Klan was responsible. I’m not sure if I knew what the Klan was at that time.  But I remember watching Monica Kaufman and the sorrow in her eyes when she shared the latest picture of a missing or murdered child on the news.

Tayari Jones’ book Leaving Atlanta is a masterpiece that needed to be written.  Read her essay “More on the Atlanta Child Murders” to understand why she wrote this book.  Anyone who grew up in the metropolitan Atlanta area during that time will benefit from reading the book.