50 States of Literature: Georgia On Our Minds | Columbia Spectator

50 States of Literature: Georgia On Our Minds | Columbia Spectator

Tayari Jones’ debut, Leaving Atlanta, is set during the 1979 Atlanta Child Murders, at which time a total of 29 black children were killed. Three kids tell their stories: Tasha, struggling daily to stay in favor with her friends, Rodney, branded as too soft and different to be accepted, and Octavia, whose dark skin earns her the nickname “Watusi” and makes her a pariah. The three struggle to comprehend their classmates’ disappearances while dealing with the everyday, from divorce and first crushes to unraveling what grown-ups mean by “the truth.”