It's August 1965 and Los Angeles is scorching - and when white police officers arrest an ordinary black Angeleno named Marquette Frye, they light the touchpaper on six days of rioting. Graffiti Palace follows young African-American graffiti expert Americo Monk as he tries to get home through the chaos, telling the secret history of the riots - and the unfolding story of Los Angeles and black America - along the way.
As Monk travels through the streets of South Central LA, he orients himself by gang tags and more intricate and mysterious graffiti symbols towards home. But the cops and the gangs are after the notebook where Monk records the city's graffiti, and which might just be the key to the secret tides of power ebbing below the surface of the city...
Bursting at the seams with memorable characters - including Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad, sewer-dwelling crack dealers and a legendary Mexican graffiti artist no-one's even sure exists - Graffiti Palace conjures into being a fantastical, living, breathing portrait of Los Angeles in 1965.
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 477 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 31 mm
A searing novel ... a mural exploding with colour and contradictions * LA Review of Books *
An electrifying new voice in American fiction. A. G. Lombardo's wildly entertaining debut reimagines the 1965 Watts Riots as a Homeric journey through rioting cops, burning streets, CIA conspiracies and the potentially fatal semiotics of race and oppression in America. Graffiti Palace is a stunning arrival, easily the most exciting book of the year -- Evan Wright, author of Generation Kill