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Short Synopsis
Against a 1970s backdrop of rapid social and political change, Only the Strong portrays the challenges and rewards of love in a quintessential American community where heartbreak and violence are seldom far away.

Full Synopsis
Moved by the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., Lorenzo "Guts" Tolliver decides to abandon his career as a professional leg-breaker and pursue a life of quiet moments and generous helpings of banana pudding in the company of his new, sensuous lover. His erstwhile boss, local kingpin Ananias Goode, is also thinking about slowing down—but his tempestuous affair with Dr. Artinces Noel, a prominent pediatrician, complicates his retirement plans. Meanwhile, Charlotte Divine, the doctor's headstrong protégée, struggles with trials of her own.

With prose that's sharp, humorous, and poetic, Jabari Asim skillfully renders a compelling portrait of urban life in the wake of the last major civil-rights bill. Massive change is afoot in America, and these characters have front-row seats.

"You will rarely find a historical novel that's as panoramic yet also as lean, mean, and moving as this." ---Kirkus Starred review

"Only the Strong is a lushly atmospheric and passionately written piece of work, bursting with colorful characters that shine on every page." ---Bernice L. McFadded, author of Gathering of Waters

"Narrator JD Jackson's deep voice sets the masculine tone for this novel…" ---AudioFile

"[C]ompared to work by writers such as Richard Russo and Stuart Dybek because of the strong sense of community." ---Library Journal Starred Review
Kirkus Review

Library Journal Review

Only the Strong

Author Jabari Asim

Narrated by JD Jackson

Publication date May 26, 2015

Running time 11 hrs 11 min

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