High Cotton by Stuart Phillips

In rural Mississippi, can a gay black man get a fair trial when he's accused of molesting a child? Does it even matter?

Deep in the Delta, a gay black man is accused of molesting a young child. High Cotton follows Will Luckman, the young lawyer saddled with defending him as he confronts the nexus of racism, and homophobia, in the town and in himself. Along the way, he begins to believe that his client is a rarity - an innocent man. But, is that enough?

Complete at 100,000 words.

  • Classification: Universal
  • Work is: Extract only on Authonomy
  • First submitted Aug. 31, 2009
  • Last updated Aug. 31, 2009
High Cotton
  • Read 7 times
  • On 2 bookshelves

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  • Wye's avatar
    Wye wrote 4 years, 10 months ago

    I dont want to dwell on the similarity of to Kill a Mocking Bird as thats all it is a similarity. Will Luckman is a well crafted charachter who is being dunked in without much of a life rope. More used to working with burgulars and thieves he is unprepaied for the challenge before him. I think you have done a damn good job on this, its going all the way.
    Amelia Gail
    A Date in The Diary

  • Retired user
    Wilma1 [Retired] wrote 4 years, 10 months ago
    Wow an amazing start you draw the reader straight in and we grit our teeth hoping that we are not going to hear what we actually do. One small nit most small children have a nick name for their body parts would a six year old call it her privates? Just a thought, perhaps they would because tats may have been what her mother taught her to call it. You make Will a character we have respect for immediately and ...
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  • AnneWright's avatar
    AnneWright wrote 5 years ago

    Wow - I've only read the first chapter and my indignant hackles are already raised! (I'm always a cause waiting to happen.) This is well-written and gripping material.

    Closeted Courage

  • Elizabeth Wolfe's avatar
    Elizabeth Wolfe wrote 5 years ago

    Dear Stuart,
    Your prologue is compelling, vividly portrayed, and heart break real. The impact of the molestation on the girl and her mother is perfectly written. There are no words, and yet you found just the right combination of words for no words.

    Elizabeth Wolfe (MEMORIES OF GLORY)

  • Ransom Heart's avatar
    Ransom Heart wrote 5 years, 1 month ago

    Ex parte is bad, especially when it happens in the first chapter! Backed, backed, backed. Marianne (Saint Paddy and the Sundial)

  • A Knight's avatar
    A Knight wrote 5 years, 4 months ago

    Read chapter one to three, and only a lack of time stopped me from continuing. The realism of this is what caught me by the throat. I could practically feel the heat, the despair, the character's tiredness and frustrations at the justice system. I'd hesitate to call this fiction, because that suggests it's a lie, and it felt all too real to me.

    Backed with pleasure.
    Abi xxx

  • Amylovesbooks's avatar
    Amylovesbooks wrote 5 years, 4 months ago

    This is not usually my favorite genre, but this book is different. I've read all there is, and want to read more. Backed with pleasure.

    Love Match

  • toussaint's avatar
    toussaint wrote 5 years, 4 months ago
    [R12] This is a great piece of work. I like Will a lot. He is clever and sympathetic. His attraction for his secretary is a nice counterpoint. As too is his relationship with his dead father and the legacy of his reputation in the small community. The subject matter is important and nicely chosen. Although not made explicit until chapter 6 it is clear from the narrative that Will is white. Your opening is sensible and has an element of ...
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  • Retired user
    Ma.Ste. [Retired] wrote 5 years, 4 months ago
    This comment has failed moderation.
  • Nick Poole2's avatar
    Nick Poole2 wrote 5 years, 6 months ago

    I'm sure I commented on this before, with its heartbreaking opening scene. Can't find the comment now though.

    Did I even back it? I should have. This fine work. Very fine.

    I shall do both again now, to make sure it stays shelved this time.

    "Mirror In The Sky"

  • lionel25's avatar
    lionel25 wrote 5 years, 6 months ago

    Wow! Great narrative and dialogue. Nothing to nitpick in the prologue and first chapter. Stewart, I think your novel deserves a higher rating.

    Happy to back this.

    Joffrey (The Silver Spoon Effect)

  • Quenntis's avatar
    Quenntis wrote 5 years, 6 months ago
    This is an interesting read, starting with the words of the little girl, and moving into a contrasting, more formal setting. Characterization is minimal and defly done to include only salient aspects. The balance between dialogue and description is well-maintained and the subject matter is of meaty substance. The author is covering quite a few interesting topics/themes: Race, Law, Country life, Religion, Gay rights... Although the work is interesting in and of itself, it might be tightened further by introducing ...
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  • JoeTheAuthor's avatar
    JoeTheAuthor wrote 5 years, 6 months ago

    Finished chapter four today. Still loving it! One thing: there is a line that says "Lamar wasn't even going to give him the chance to use the defense tactic that justice delayed is justice 'defied.'" I know you are a former attorney, so I have to assume that the "defied" is a typo, right?

  • JoeTheAuthor's avatar
    JoeTheAuthor wrote 5 years, 6 months ago
    Well, well...here I am keeping my promise to devote at least one hour per day reading High Cotton at my computer. Surprise, surprise. It just keeps getting better! I see that the author is a lawyer; that accounts for the authenticity. What I want to know is where he learned to write so well. Some might say he wasted his time studying the law, when he could have been writing, but I would offer that the time was well spent. ...
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  • JoeTheAuthor's avatar
    JoeTheAuthor wrote 5 years, 6 months ago
    Backed - with extreme prejudice!! The prologue is a grabber, and while I've not read past that, I would be shocked if what follows is any less impressive. Is the book in print? If not, I may just have to devote an hour or so each morning to read it at my computer (which is saying a lot, because I'm at the damn thing more than I'm not!). Shades of Boo Radley; this looks like a sure winner. Joe Perrone ...
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  • Barry Wenlock's avatar
    Barry Wenlock wrote 5 years, 6 months ago

    Hi Stuart - I was going to write a lot of stuff but I've just read some of your comments and see that it's all been said. In a word - excellent.
    Best wishes, Barry (Little Krisna and the Bihar Boys)

  • Suzannah Burke's avatar
    Suzannah Burke wrote 5 years, 6 months ago

    Stuart, I am on a hunting trip this morning. My prey are red arrows that need to be made extinct.

    266 other readers agree with me, This quality of writing should be on The ED.

    All the superlatives have been used.

    I will simply add Bravo.

    Backed with absolute pleasure
    Suzannah Burke

  • Retired user
    Jesse Hargreave [Retired] wrote 5 years, 6 months ago

    Backed January 13.

    Jesse - Savant


  • Philip Whiteland's avatar
    Philip Whiteland wrote 5 years, 7 months ago

    This is good. A very awkward subject that is really sensitively handled in the Prologue and the establishment of the main character and the world that he inhabits. Very brave choice of subject matter that is bound to be compelling. Believable dialogue and good descriptive writing. Shelved.

    Philip (Steady Past Your Granny's)

  • Chris 1's avatar
    Chris 1 wrote 5 years, 7 months ago
    Hi Stuart - High Cotton puts me in mind of 'To Kill a Mockingbird', and I really mean that as a compliment. The opening chapter is heartbreaking but sets the scene for what is to follow. I hope this is going to be a killer of a courtroom/investigation novel. Will is obviously living in the shadow of his father Sir and, we'll probably see him battling to live up to his reputation - all the while unravelling what promises to ...
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