“Dwight had completed his masterpiece: A New Requiem.”
Dwight Kerry, a longtime teacher and choir director in the fictional town of Freeden, is an openly gay man living in the rural South. On the night of his spring community chorus concert, Mozart’s Requiem, he is arrested and wrongly accused of murdering and raping a 17-year old boy, the son of a prominent family in the community.
The radically-fundamental populous immediately turns against Dwight and convicts him in the court of public opinion, and local homegrown trial attorney, choir member, and friend Ben Bailey elects to defend him from a corrupt local justice system. Led by local pastor and religious leader Dr. Daniel Henson, Freeden’s majority wages a social war against Dwight, Ben, and progressive thought, claiming that Dwight must be found guilty for the sake of Freeden’s future and the moral values its townspeople hold dear.
A New Requiem addresses the prejudices often directed toward things different from social norms, with the subject in this story being a gay man, and calls for readers to reconsider their own preconceived ideas and become more understanding of things different from what they are used to.
A New Requiem. Read it in 2019.