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Author Goes In Conversation About His Tour de Force Novel About Race, Entertainment, and Healthcare in America

Published on Jul 6, 2022

John Vercher, author of the Edgar and Anthony Award-nominated “Three-Fifths,” will discuss his new book, “After the Lights Go Out,” in conversation with author and UCLA writing instructor Chris L. Terry, in a virtual event Thursday, July 7, sponsored by Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena. 

The event begins at 7 p.m. and is live on Crowdcast. 

In “After the Lights Go Out,” Xavier “Scarecrow” Wallace, a mixed-race MMA fighter on the wrong side of thirty, is facing the fight of his life. He can no longer deny he is losing his battle with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), or pugilistic dementia. 

Through the fog of memory loss, migraines, and paranoia, Xavier does his best to stay in shape by training at the Philadelphia gym owned by his cousin-cum-manager, Shot, a retired champion boxer to whom Xavier owes an unpayable debt. Xavier makes ends meet while he waits for the call that will reinstate him after a year-long suspension by teaching youth classes at Shot’s gym and by living rent-free in the house of his white father, Sam, whom Xavier was forced to commit to a nursing home. 

The progress of Sam’s end-stage Alzheimer’s has revealed his latent racism, and Xavier finally gains insight into why his Black mother left the family years ago. Then Xavier is offered a chance at redemption: a last-minute high-profile comeback fight. If he can get himself back in the game, he’ll be able to clear his name and begin to pay off Shot. With his memory in shreds and his life crumbling around him, can Xavier hold on to the focus he needs to survive?

In the book, Vercher offers a gripping, psychologically astute, and explosive tour de force about race, entertainment, and healthcare in America, and about one man’s battle against himself. 

To save your space for Thursday’s virtual event, register early on Crowdcast,

For more information, call (626) 449-5320 or visit


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