Walker Smith

The Color Line

"I dare you to walk away from this book uninspired. Readers of all races will learn volumes from this far-reaching new book for our times"

- Hycell B. Taylor, The African-American Revolt of the Spirit

The Walker Smith Experience


Horn, radio, ashtray, drink, matches Back Cover IMG_5559

From page one, Walker Smith grabs you.


The year is 1952. You are in a luxury hotel suite high above the city lights of Chicago. The song playing on the radio is at odds with the tension you already feel. You see every detail of the room—atmospheric lights and shadows playing at the window curtains, a broken glass on the floor. You see a face; his name is Joe. He seems a nice enough guy until you notice his vacant expression and see the gun in his hand. A radio news report has rattled him. By the time you turn to page two, you want to know why . . . . What happened? And how in the world did he end up here?


That was a snapshot of the opening scene of Walker Smith’s novel Bluestone Rondo. 


Walker Smith writes in a non-linear style that builds tension by way of revelations that come at you in unexpected waves. The opening scene of Bluestone Rondo is revisited three times over the course of the novel, each scene providing a missing piece to the surprising outcome.


With an ear for dialects and a talent for revealing the inner gears of her characters’ minds and emotions, Smith sometimes reveals their duplicity in brief glimpses, and other times in telling, graphic scenes. The sinners are capable of heroism, and the saints dabble in deception. They are at once guilty and innocent, unique individuals that defy racial, religious, and social stereotypes. Once you are completely immersed in the joys and sorrows of their complex lives, you begin to notice the surroundings in their world—a rich and accurate tapestry of current events and their impact. Through the eyes of the characters, you find yourself walking the pages of history, in real time.


You are there.


Unusual plot twists, unforgettable
characters, historical accuracy, and
unguessable endings.


A high-torque ride in a time machine.


That is the Walker Smith Experience.


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    Austin History Center, Saturday, August 15, 2015

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