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The Promise of the Pelican

A pelican standing in front of a lake in which two other pelicans are already hunting for food
Josiah Wood Whymper (1813–1903)
Wellcome Collection
A pelican standing in front of a lake in which two other pelicans are already hunting for food. Coloured wood engraving by J W Whimper.

At once a literary crime novel and an intergenerational family drama, Roy Hoffman’s novel, The Promise of the Pelican (2022, Arcade Crimewise) is set in the multicultural South, where justice might depend on the color of your skin and your immigration status. The protagonist, Hank Weinberg, is a modern-day Atticus Finch, recently retired as a defense attorney in Mobile, Alabama, and a Holocaust survivor, who fled the Nazis as a young child. With his daughter in rehab, he's now taking care of his special needs grandson with the help of Lupita, a young Honduran babysitter. When her brother Julio, an undocumented immigrant, is accused of murder, Hank must return to the courtroom to defend him while also trying to save his daughter and grandson's life from spinning out of control

Roy Hoffman joins Walter Edgar to talk about the novel, its resonance with the South of the past as well as the South of today, and about his career.

News and Music Stations: Fri, Jul 08, at 12 pm; Sat, Jul 09, at 7 am
News & Talk Stations: Friday, Jul 08, at 12 pm; Sun, Jul 10, at 4 pm

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.