Detroit Native Vivian Carpenter releases debut novel "The Fifth Letter"; Political thriller explores the trials and tribulations of the first Black female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court - The Charles H. Wright Museum Blog

Detroit Native Vivian Carpenter releases debut novel "The Fifth Letter"; Political thriller explores the trials and tribulations of the first Black female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

The Fifth Letter is centered on Ross, the fictionalized first Black female Supreme Court justice. Known as a liberal jurist, Ross is placed in an untenable position as she gains the power to remove conservative Supreme Court Justice John Galt from the bench after an amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides an involuntary retirement process for incapacitated justices.  

Galt is an outspoken egoist who barely survived an assassination attempt. Severely injured, his prolonged absence creates growing pressure for his removal from the bench. His colleagues send four letters to the Senate Judiciary Committee calling for his retirement, but Galt refuses to resign.

Katherine is expected to immediately issue the fifth letter because she stands with the Black community in her contempt of Galt’s legal position opposing affirmative action, yet she withholds the fatal fifth letter. In so doing, she puts her own life at risk from an angry Black community, from agitators willing to use any means necessary to further their goals, and from other dark forces who want chaos in America. 

Carpenter comments, “This book took on a life of its own as I allowed the character of Justice Katherine Helena Ross to be challenged, explored the historical underpinnings of the character John Galt, and attempted to identify a legal issue that runs through the book: who is a person with inalienable rights in America?” 

The Fifth Letter is a fine new addition to the field of legal fiction. But we've never had one like this before, because it's about judges, not lawyers, and not just any judges. The Fifth Letter takes us into the chambers of the Supreme Court and brings to vivid fictional life the men and women who in so many ways determine our national destiny. Vivian Carpenter gives us a fascinating view of how business gets done in the Court and on Capitol Hill while also delivering a novel of big political ideas, a riveting study of race in America, and a tale of buried secrets, lost loves, and page-turning suspense.” ~ William Martin, New York Times bestselling author ofThe Lost Constitution and The Lincoln Letter. 

Carpenter will introduce her novel to the public at the lecture and book signing June 24, 2015 at the Charles H. Wright Museum for African American History in Midtown Detroit. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1448-creating-qthe-fifth-letterq-our-history-a-mind-boggling-coincidences-with-dr-vivian-carpenter or call (313) 494-5800.

 PRAISE FOR "THE FIFTH LETTER


“Frequently political novels are a genre for truth telling. Dr. Vivian Carpenter's description of inside Washington rings true. 'The Fifth Letter' takes us forward to a United States Supreme Court foreshadowed by the current Court's personalities and political tilt. This novel will engage and educate its readers.” - Former Senator Bob Graham of Florida, Former Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee
 

“'The Fifth Letter' is a remarkable first novel... The past informs the present in this contemplative, sophisticated judicial thriller. The moral/legal conundrum at the center hooked me and never let go. In this court of public appeal... a clear victory." - Gregory Allen Howard, Screenwriter, "Ali" "Remember The Titans"

 

"'The Fifth Letter' is a fine new addition to the field of legal fiction. But we've never had one like this before, because it's about judges, not lawyers, and not just any judges. 'The Fifth Letter' takes us into the chambers of the Supreme Court and brings to vivid fictional life the men and women who in so many ways determine our national destiny. Vivian Carpenter gives us a fascinating view of how business gets done in the Court and on Capitol Hill while also delivering a novel of big political ideas, a riveting study of race in America, and a tale of buried secrets, lost loves, and page-turning suspense." – William Martin, New York Times Bestselling Author of "The Lost Constitution" and "The Lincoln Letter"

VIVIAN L. CARPENTER is a Michigan-educated writer, motivational speaker, and teacher. As an academic, she has won several awards and grants for her scholarly work in institutional theory from the National Science Foundation, Governmental Accounting Standards Board, Kellogg Foundation, and Ford Foundation. As a business professional, she was director of academic programs at FAMU’s School of Business and Industry (SBI) and served as chairperson of the board of MotorCity Casino in Detroit, Michigan. 

About the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, The Wright Museum is the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience.  For more information visit TheWright.org.

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