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SouthBound: S.A. Cosby On Writing His Novel 'Razorblade Tears' And Navigating Race, Class And Sexuality In The South

How about this for a premise? Two aging ex-cons, one Black and one white, each have a gay son. The two sons get married, and then are brutally murdered. Their daddies set out to get revenge – and to ease their regrets over how they treated their sons when they were alive.

SA Cosby credit Sam Sauter Photography.jpg
Photo by Sam Sauter Photography
S.A. Cosby

That’s the setup for the novel “Razorblade Tears” by Virginia native Shawn Cosby, who writes under the name S.A. Cosby. The book is violent, tragic, redemptive and a precise sketch of hard-time Southern lives.

“Razorblade Tears” got rave reviews from the New York Times and Washington Post, and he’s already sold the movie rights.

Cosby lives in southeastern Virginia and worked a series of blue-collar jobs before breaking big as a writer here in his late 40s. He’s had a lot of time to think about the big themes he writes about, and to understand why he loves the South while he wishes so much of it would change.

He’s a voice you’re going to be hearing from for a while.

Show notes

    Other music in this episode

    • Daniel Birch, "Revenge"
    • Lobo Loco, "Country Boy (Instrumental)"
    Tommy Tomlinson has hosted the podcast SouthBound for WFAE since 2017. He also does a commentary, On My Mind, which airs every Monday.