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by William Gay
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When we look past the haggard face and the thrilling biography full of fights and fornication, Harry Crews’ fictional world is closer to Kafka’s Eastern Europe than to today’s good ole boy.
While Gay himself might prize being considered among the Southern greats, his stories of desolation and beauty -- brimming, yes, with the familiar Gothic elements of violence and darkness of hearts -- feed and trouble our souls, whether or not we come to the text already knowing the “timeless tolling of whippoorwills, both bitter and reassuring,” or have passed ugly nights in a honkytonk, or keep a rifle or a pistol under the bed.