Fiction. African & African American Studies. California Interest. Set in the Central California countryside and the Southern California desert, BY THE LEMON TREE's old school stories chronicle the collision of wide-eyed childhood with the end of lives human and animal. In "Twice Good" a downtrodden city administrator shows up for a Black Panther protest forty years too late. "Funeral in Fresno" introduces us to an impatient reverend who is forced to confront his past and his future, while in the title story, a young boy born and raised in East Oakland bears witness to life and death in an ancient rural world.
Keenan Norris's books include the novel The Confession of Copeland Cane, which won the 2022 Northern California Book Award, the book of essays Chi Boy: Native Sons and Chicago Reckonings, and the novel Brother and the Dancer, which received the 2012 James D. Houston Award. Keenan teaches at San Jose State University, where he is coordinator of the Steinbeck Fellows Program. In 2021, he served as a University of Virginia Rea Visiting Writer. His essays have appeared in Alta, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Los Angeles Times.