Indiana University, September 1963. Meri Henriques, a na ve freshman from New York, arrives on campus thinking she's about to enroll at an idyllic Midwestern college. Instead, she discovers a storm is brewing.
An intriguing cast of characters inhabits Meri's new and often troubled world: Katherine "Pixie" Gates, Meri's charming and quirky roommate; Rachel, brilliant and sarcastic fellow New Yorker; Daniel, a tough radical with a tender heart; folk singer Derek Stone, Meri's crush; and Shennandoah Waters, a white coed who only dates black men or exotic foreigners, much to her ultra-conservative parents' horror.
Over the course of Meri's first year at college, tragedy strikes twice: John Kennedy is assassinated, and a young, black IU basketball player is castrated and thrown into a ditch--murdered for dating a white coed. And finally, that year's commencement ceremonies bring an infamous symbol of white supremacy to campus, endangering anyone who dared to protest--thrusting Meri into the middle of violent and escalating racial tensions. Vivid and compelling, Hoosier Hysteria is a timely story of prejudice and political unrest that, today more than ever before, must be told.