What does the untimely death of one man mean?
Robert Peace was born outside Newark in a ghetto known as "Illtown." His unwed mother worked long hours in a kitchen. His charismatic father was later convicted of a double murder. Peace's intellectual brilliance and hard-won determination earned him a full scholarship to Yale University. At college, while majoring in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, he straddled the world of academia and the world of the street, never revealing his full self in either place. Upon graduation from Yale, he went home to teach at the Catholic high school he'd attended, slid into the drug trade, and was brutally murdered at age thirty.
That's the short version of Robert Peace's life. The long version, the complete version, is this remarkable tour de force by Jeff Hobbs, a talented young novelist who was Peace's college roommate. Hobbs attended Peace's funeral, reached out to his friends from both Yale and Newark, and ultimately decided to write this harrowing and beautiful account of his life.
What does the haunting, untimely death of one man mean? Robert Peace's life doesn't reduce to easy sociological constructions. Through Hobbs's relentless research and remarkable writing, we learn the cost of living between the world Peace was born into and the one his potential allowed him to enter. We see him work, love, fail, succeed, give to others, care for his mother, travel, and dream. We witness the decisions he made for himself and the ones that life forced upon him. But most importantly, we come to understand the sheer complexity of his existence and are irrevocably changed by the fascinating, devastating, and unforgettable life of Robert Peace.
This is a used copy in good condition with some very light, general wear, as well as a dark blue marker dot to the bottom page ends.
By Jeff Hobbs. Paperback. 406 pages. Published by Scribner, 2015.