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De’Shawn Charles Winslow explores murder, racism and homophobia in 'Decent People'

De’Shawn Charles Winslow is the author of "Decent People"
Julie R Keresztes
De’Shawn Charles Winslow is the author of "Decent People"

A triple homicide in the fictional town of West Mills, North Carolina sets the scene for De’Shawn Charles Winslow’s second novel, Decent People.

If West Mills might sound familiar, it’s because Winslow’s first novel, In West Mills, was listed for—and won—numerous literary prizes in 2019.

Although his newest release uses the same setting, it’s a completely new story that doesn’t require having read In West Mills.

I recently spoke with De’Shawn Charles Winslow about the fictional town, some of the surprises he found when writing the mystery, and how readers might recognize some of their own biases.


Decent People by De’Shawn Charles Winslow was published by Bloomsbury.

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Beth Golay is KMUW's Director of Marketing and Digital Content. She is the host of the KMUW podcast Marginalia and co-host with Suzanne Perez of the Books & Whatnot podcast. You can find her on Wichita Transit in conversation with other riders for En Route, a monthly segment on KMUW's weekly news program The Range.