When Jeff Hobbs arrived for his freshman year at Yale, his mother was preoccupied with making curtains for his dorm room. His roommate Robert Peace, on the other hand, had different concerns. His father was in prison, serving time for murders he may or may not have committed. His mother was struggling, as she had been for years, with her low-wage job in a cafeteria; depositing her son that day on the campus of a vaunted Ivy League institution, she seemed in a daze.
When Peace was murdered at the age of 30, Hobbs began investigating the facts of his life, piecing together his personal history in a way he’d never known before. With the precision of a biographer and the prose of a poet, the resulting book is a masterpiece. It’s titled “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man who Left Newark for the Ivy League” and comes out on Tuesday.
You can meet Jeff Hobbs at the Barnes and Noble at the Grove on Monday, 7:00pm. And read an excerpt of the book here.
Here’s our conversation: