In ten stunning and bleak tales set in the woodlands, swamps, and chemical plants along the Alabama River, Tom Franklin stakes his claim as a fresh, original Southern voice. His lyric, deceptively simple prose conjures a world where the default setting is violence, a world of hunting and fishing, gambling and losing, drinking and poaching—a world most of us have never seen. In the chilling title novella (selected for the anthologies New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 1999 and Best Mystery Stories of the Century), three wild boys confront a mythic game warden as mysterious and deadly as the river they haunt. And, as a weathered, hand-painted sign reads: "Jesus is not coming;" This terrain isn't pretty, isn't for the weak of heart, but in these desperate, lost people, Franklin somehow finds the moments of grace that make them what they so abundantly are: human.
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Penzler Pick, December 1999: As the editor of an annual series for Houghton Mifflin titled Best American Mystery Stories, I read scores, if not hundreds, of little magazines in search of the best crime fiction published that year. One story that came to light from the Texas Review was "Poachers" by Tom Franklin, which I thought was easily the most original and memorable tale of 1998. It went on to win the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America and became the title of Franklin's first book, a short story collection of such distinction that it has already provided a shoo-in for spring 2000s Best American Mystery Stories of the Century.
"Poachers" is no ordinary tale of detection but rather a mood piece that will remind the reader of the best of James Lee Burke. Set in the swamps of the deep South, it is a riveting tale of three brothers who are so violent and amoral that they will kill anyone or anything in their path. One of their victims is a young lawman who was much loved, causing the locals to bring in their own hired gun, a game warden of legendary skill as a hunter of poachers. One by one, he tracks down the crazed brothers in a quest for justice.
The other stories in this beautifully produced little volume are also superb. While there is occasional humor, this is not a collection to read if you're in the mood for P.G. Wodehouse or Dave Barry. The dark woods and hollows and the unforgiving swamps and their inhabitants do not make for a sunshiny reading experience. As the old wooden sign in Poachers announces, "Jesus Is Not Coming." Franklin's first novel will be published in 2000 and I, for one, can't wait. --Otto PenzlerAbout the Author:
Tom Franklin is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, which was nominated for nine awards and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the prestigious Crime Writers' Association's Gold Dagger Award. His previous works include Poachers, whose title story won the Edgar Award, as well as Hell at the Breech and Smonk. The winner of a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship, he teaches in the University of Mississippi's MFA program.
Beth Ann Fennelly has won grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and United States Artists, as well as a Fulbright grant to travel to Brazil. Her honors include the Kenyon Review Prize and three inclusions in The Best American Poetry. She has published three volumes of poetry as well as a work of nonfiction, Great with Child. She directs the University of Mississippi's MFA program, where she was named the 2011 Outstanding Teacher of the Year.
Beth Ann and Tom live in Oxford, Mississippi, with their three children.
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Book Description William Morrow, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000101481
Book Description William Morrow, 1999. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: It's as if Raymond Carver were still alive & living in the Deep South. Or, imagine a world created by Jim Harrison & Cormac McCarthy & plunk it down in the woods of southern Alabama, where emotions run as raw as moonshine.Tom Franklin's eloquent deceptively simple prose evokes a world of hunting & fishing, shotgun shacks & trailer parks, poachers, & lawmen, factory workers, poor white trash, & bucket-o-'blood boozers. His stories are laced with naked violence, hot food, & the ever bitter sweat & tears of human relationships.REVIEW: "Tom Franklin writes as if his hands & mind are on fire & as if force, power, gentleness, crudeness & grace are the only way to stay ahead of the flames. The effect is most pleasing for the fortunate reader. Poachers plumbs raw & startling places. I could rave on about Franklin's work, but that would be to get in the way of the immediate & bottom line, which is, read this work. His stories are burning, waiting for you." (--Rick Bass). Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0688167403
Book Description Morrow, NY, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. 12mo - over 6¾ - 7¾" tall. This is a New and Unread copy of the first edition (1st printing). Book. Bookseller Inventory # 042474
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97806881674001.0
Book Description William Morrow, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0688167403
Book Description William Morrow, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110688167403