“Guillory’s complex and mesmerizing novel spans numerous eras of family history and southern folklore, offering a haunting yet soulful portrait of a neglected American culture” (Booklist).
Meet Ti John, a young boy growing up in Texan Creole culture in the 1980s, the decade of Reaganomics, disco music, and the candy of choice—red Now and Laters. Raised in a Black Creole family by a voodoo-practicing father and strict Catholic mother, he is blessed with a special gift: spiritual healing.
But life in the Houston ghetto where he lives is never easy. Ti John struggles to remain an ordinary kid, but even with a rodeo-star father he idolizes and the help of supernatural guides, nothing can shield Ti John from the roughness of inner-city life. He witnesses violence and death, gets his heart broken by girls, feels the anger of his own embittered father, struggles to live up to his mother’s middle-class aspirations—all while trying to become the man he’s expected to be. Will Ti John fall prey to the bad side of life—or will he recognize and hold on to the good?
Multilayered and multigenerational, this tremendous literary debut breathes new life into the coming-of-age novel through “a truly unforgettable world of spirits and magical men” (Dolen Perkins-Valdez, author of Wench). Red Now and Laters is a poignant and uniquely American story, as memorable and flavorful as the candy itself.