Ernest Hill

Ernest Hill was born in Oak Grove, Louisiana. He holds degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, Cornell University, and UCLA. He is the author of several novels, including Satisfied With Nothin' (Simon & Schuster), A Life for a Life (Simon & Schuster), Cry Me a River (Kensington), and It's All About the Moon When the Sun Ain't Shinin (Kensington). His fifth novel, A Person of Interest, was published by Kensington.

Published in Authors

Family Ties

 

by Ernest Hill

In the acclaimed A Life for a Life, Ernest Hill created an unforgettably candid story of violence, love, and redemption with teenaged D’Ray Reid at its center. Now in Family Ties, with his jail time behind him, D’Ray has returned home to find that the real fight for survival is only beginning.  

Everyone was shocked when Mr. Henry took D’Ray Reid under his wing. After all, Mr. Henry’s real son was murdered by D’Ray—a crime D’Ray committed to save his brother, Little Man. Yet in the years since, Mr. Henry has tried to show D’Ray how to become the man Stanley would never be.

 After Mr. Henry’s death, D’Ray seeks out his own mother, Mira, hoping to rebuild their broken relationship. But D’Ray’s Homecoming is more tumultuous than expected. Arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, Little Man has escaped and is in hiding. Mira blames D’Ray for Little Man’s troubled history, but she has her own secrets to hide. And putting things right will mean uncovering a legacy of lies and hidden agendas, and realizing the only way to be free of the past is to stand tall and confront it at last.

 

 

Published in Fiction

A Life For a Life

by Ernest Hill

From the acclaimed author of Satisfied with Nothin' comes a searing and unsparing story of the unlikely bond between an African-American father and the teenager who killed his son, a tale of violent self-destruction reclaimed by the inexhaustible power of love and forgiveness.

In A Life For a Life, Ernest Hill explores the volatile emotional terrain of a black youth's coming of age in rural Louisiana. When a local drug dealer threatens to kill D'Ray Reid's kid brother unless he comes up with $100 within an hour, D'Ray decides to hold up a convenience store in a nearby town. The young clerk at the cash register attempts to foil the robbery and in the scuffle D'Ray shoots and kills him. What follows is an absorbing drama in which D'Ray becomes a fugitive with a lengthening resume of violent crime. Yet it is ultimately in the person of Henry Earl, the slain boy's father, that D'Ray sees his future. When he is forced to reckon with his destruction of the boy's family, D'Ray finds that Henry Earl is his only advocate and the person who will ask of him what no one, not even his family, had ever asked before.

A Life For a Life witnesses the resuscitation of two lives by love, forgiveness, and gratitude. The relationship that develops between D'Ray Reid and Henry Earl is nothing short of miraculous: Their discovery of humanity and harmony in the most unlikely place will reverberate in readers' memories.

Published in Fiction

Cry Me a River

by Ernest Hill

Tyrone Stokes had been an absentee father from a "no good family." Sent to prison, he left his wife, Pauline, to raise their son, Marcus, alone. But now Marcus needs his father. The young man is on Louisiana's death row for the murder of a young white girl, and Tyrone is determined not to let his seventeen-year-old son suffer as he had in jail. Convinced of Marcus's innocence, and grasping at the slim chance that he can put his family back together, Tyrone will sacrifice all that he holds dear to make up for his absence and keep Marcus alive - despite the overwhelming evidence against his son and Pauline's insistence that he stay away.

In Cry Me a River, Ernest Hill offers the same distinctive blend of intense emotional power, vivid imagery, and rich characters as in his highly acclaimed novels A Life for a Life and Satisfied With Nothing.

Published in Fiction

It's All About the Moon When the Sun Ain't Shining

by Ernest Hill

Booklist calls his novel A Life for a Life "compelling," and calls Satisfied With Nothin' "an exceptional literary piece that some readers will compare to Richard Wright's Native Son." His Cry Me a River has been equally embraced by both readers and reviewers.

Now, in his new novel, It's All About the Moon When the Sun Ain't Shining, Ernest Hill introduces readers to Maurice Dupree. He's the first person in his family to go to college, and now he's well on his way to becoming the first African American attorney in his hometown of Brownsville, Louisiana and its entire parish. Maurice's dreams seem to be coming true - all except what may be the most important one. The woman he loves, the woman he hopes to marry, isn't planning on waiting for him.

Infused with the spirit and traditions of the South, It's All About the Moon When the Sun Ain't Shining takes readers on a journey through life's most momentous crossroads.

Published in Fiction

Satisfied with Nothin'

by Ernest Hill

Satisfied With Nothin' chronicles Jamie Ray Griffin, a young black man who, by virtue of his talent on the football field, finds himself suddenly thrust into a white world full of privilege, temptation, and never-before-imagined possibility. Encouraged by the facade of acceptance from the white community, Jamie strives to succeed, but finds himself thwarted at every turn - by whites and blacks alike.

This starkly honest story follows Jamie's development from a naive, unsophisticated teen to a hard-driving, cynical adult determined to succeed despite the opposition of whites, the complacency of blacks, and his own tragic fate. In doing so, it provides a powerful and important portrait of the black experience in post-segregation America.

Published in Fiction

A Person of Interest

by Ernest Hill

Recently widowed Felicia Fontenot, who has returned home to Brownsville, Tennessee, to care for her elderly mother, looks out her bedroom window early one morning and sees that the house across the street has become a crime scene. Her neighbor, Luther Jackson, has come home to find the bodies of his wife and son both burned beyond recognition after being doused with gasoline. Having secretly loved Luther for more than 20 years, Felicia has a powerful urge to comfort him and proclaim his innocence, even though Luther is the prime suspect in the double murder. Harboring a shameful secret, Luther does little to defend himself. His aunt, Daphne Gipson, perplexed by his silence, enlists Felicia's aid in uncovering the truth.

Published in Fiction