It’s not every day Lake County welcomes a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. On May 6, Mount Dora will host Gilbert King, awarded the 2013 nonfiction Pulitzer Prize for “Devil in the Grove.”The acclaimed book, set in Lake County, highlights the racial injustice of the case involving The Groveland Boys, Sheriff Willis McCall, and Thurgood Marshall.
King is returning to Mount Dora to talk about his newest book, “Beneath a Ruthless Sun: a True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found.” The new book is an investigative nonfiction tale that raises themes that still haunt American society.
The story is based on a rape case in 1950s Leesburg when Lake County judges, juries, deputies and attorneys manufactured or accepted falsified evidence to send a mentally-disabled teenager, Jesse Daniels, to a notoriously cruel mental institution. Daniels was released fourteen years later with the help of his mother, a reporter, and an attorney.
The presentation will examine an era in Lake County when justice was perverted by bigotry and tempered by the power of the free press. The free presentation begins at 4:00 p.m. and will include a question and answer period. Doors open at 3:00 p.m. at the Mount Dora Community Center, 520 North Baker Street. Books will be available for purchase to have signed by the author after the program.