Grief Map

In the Heat of the Light

Stephen Kearse


Kindred Books • Release Date: Summer 2019

Print ISBN: • EPUB ISBN:  • Kindle ISBN:  • PDF ISBN:

Brain Mill Press offers In the Heat of the Light in ebook and trade paperback editions. Ebook buyers receive access to MOBI (Kindle), EPUB, and PDF files, offered without DRM restrictions. Print book buyers receive a physical copy of the book and access to the ebook files in all formats.

IN THE HEAT OF THE LIGHT is a young adult neo-noir thriller set in contemporary Atlanta. The book documents the rise and fall of an Atlanta graffiti crew. Set during a brutally hot Atlanta summer, the novel chronicles how each member of the crew reacts to the aftermath of their biggest tag, an audacious defacement of Georgia’s Stone Mountain. As the crew gradually unravels, two FBI agents attempt to untangle the knot of rage and confusion that led to the tag, surveying Atlanta’s underbelly in the process and becoming entangled themselves.

This novel explores the topography of Atlanta in vivid detail, dwelling in the city’s lesser-known corridors and assembling the city’s various ghosts — the Civil War, Jim Crow, the 1996 Olympics, the slum clearance of the 50s, and the Civil Rights Movement — alongside the city’s modern currents — gentrification, Black Lives Matter, traffic, and trap music. Five Atlanta teenagers choose between property and the commons when neither is immediately available to them, a heightened dilemma in this age of mass surveillance and income inequality.


Stephen Kearse is a reporter and critic from Atlanta. He now lives in Washington, DC, where he regularly laments the lack of good biscuits. He has been published by the New York Times Magazine, Hazlitt, Pitchfork, and The Ringer, among other outlets. He loves Georgia summers.


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