Charles B. Fancher

Charles B. Fancher
  • An astounding multigenerational saga, Red Clay chronicles the interwoven lives of an enslaved Black family and their white owners as the Civil War ends and Reconstruction begins.

    In 1943, when a frail old white woman shows up in Red Clay, Alabama, at the home of a Black former slave—on the morning following his funeral—his family hardly knows what to expect after she utters the words “… a lifetime ago, my family owned yours.” Adelaide Parker has a story to tell—one of ambition, betrayal, violence, and redemption—that shaped both the fate of her family and that of the late Felix H. Parker.

    But there are gaps in her knowledge, and she’s come to Red Clay seeking answers from a family with whom she shares a name and a history that neither knows in full. In an epic saga that takes us from Red Clay to Paris, to the Côte d’Azur and New Orleans, human frailties are pushed to their limits as secrets are exposed and the line between good and evil becomes ever more difficult to discern. Red Clay is a tale that deftly lays bare the ugliness of slavery, the uncertainty of the final months of the Civil War, the optimism of Reconstruction, and the pain and frustration of Jim Crow.

    With a vivid sense of place and a cast of memorable characters, Charles B. Fancher draws upon his own family history to weave a riveting tale of triumph over adversity, set against a backdrop of societal change and racial animus that reverberates in contemporary America. Through seasons of joy and unspeakable pain, Fancher delivers rich moments as allies become enemies, and enemies—to their great surprise—find new respect for each other.