From award-winning journalist David Kushner, a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and other premiere outlets, ALLIGATOR CANDY: A Memoir is the riveting story about how a family survives an unthinkable tragedy.
Kushner grew up in the suburbs of Florida in the early 1970s, running wild with his friends, exploring, riding bikes, and disappearing into the nearby woods for hours at a time. But one morning in 1973, everything changed. When Kushner was just four years old, his eleven-year-old brother Jon was kidnapped when biking home from the local convenience store and murdered in the woods near their home in suburban Florida. This is the story of Jon’s murder at the hands of two sadistic drifters…and everything that happened after.
More than a chronicle of Jon’s death, Alligator Candy presents a unique perspective on how parenting in America changed since the 1970s, casting light on the transition between two generations of children—one raised on freedom (free-range parenting), the other on fear (helicopter parenting).
While haunting and at times disturbing, Alligator Candy is a deeply moving meditation on grief, growth, family, and the unwavering power of love.