Crooked Letter i: Coming Out in the South
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin – Interview
Connie Griffin's southern roots go back for generations in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. The daughter of a fundamentalist minister, she left the South and relocated to New England in her late twenties for graduate studies in multicultural literature of the Americas. Connie is an experienced writing workshop facilitator who teaches, writes, and publishes in the field of narrative nonfiction.
She has combined her interests in literary and cultural studies with feminist and queer theory to address cultural constructions of identity. Connie received her B. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her life partner, their numerous pooches, and cats. Crooked Letter i : Coming Out in the South.
Introduction Connie Griffin. Almost Heaven Elizabeth Craven. Coming Home Logan Knight. Late News Thom Koch. Come down to the creek to die. That old instinct: hurt, head for water. He thought of his mother, dead eight years. The time the two of them lived in a hunting cabin on land owned by a white man. No water in the place, no electricity, no gas.
Crooked Letter i, Coming Out in the South | New Orleans Review
They shooed it off but morning found it lying at the steps with a twitching mouse in its jaws. They moved from that cabin a few months later and the cat moved with them.
It would live with them for years, but then, just before he left to go to Oxford his senior year, the cat disappeared. By the time he noticed, his mother said it had been gone nearly a month. She was washing clothes in the sink, still in her hairnet from work. A mosquito whined past his ear and he slapped at his arms and neck, going faster, leaves plastered to his boots, aware of a sharpness to the air, now a sweet rot. Something fifty yards ahead began to lurch toward him. He stopped and thumbed the quick-release of his sidearm as other things moved as well, the earth floor stirring to life.
But the thing veered away flapping into the air, just a buzzard, feet hanging, and then others were winging their duffle bodies over the water or waddling up the bank. The odor grew worse as he stepped closer to where the land gave over to swamp. He hoped not to have to shoot any as he mushed along fanning the air with his hand.
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Never for real. Not even a turtle on a log. Another of the ungainly birds heaved itself from the bank and kicked the swamp face, breaking its own image, and flapped up to the knuckled low branch it stood clasping and unclasping with its feet. He remembered somebody, Larry Ott, telling him that once a flock of buzzards took to roosting in a tree, the tree began to die.
He could smell why. He took a ripe breath and went on as the limbs closed in again. He ducked a low vine, wary of snakes. Cottonmouth-moccasins, his mother used to call them. Silas took off his hat. In the distance, three or four lumps in rags of plaid clothing, lodged in the water among a vista of cypress trees and knees and buzzards black and parliamentary and all the flies a world could need. A large shadow passed him and he looked overhead where more buzzards circled yet, some at near altitudes not colliding but seeming to pass through one another, their wings and tail feathers sun-silvered at the tips.
His mouth was dry. From this far off, and at this level of decomposition, an ID should have been impossible. But Silas shook his head. Keyed his radio. A few days back Silas had been called out to a secluded area behind a grown-up cotton field off Dump Road. An old Chevy Impala burning. The driver of a passing garbage truck had seen smoke and radioed it in. Regarding the burning car, Silas had called French—for anything higher than simple assault, he had to notify the chief investigator.
French and the narcotics investigator had been watching this man—Charles Deacon—for a while and used this occasion to swear out a warrant. They did not, however, locate the gun. As for drugs, they found nothing but a pack of Top rolling papers, not even any shake. Upload Sign In Join. Save For Later. Create a List.
Read on the Scribd mobile app Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. Sure he understood. Larry said, What— The man in the mask cut him off in a high voice. Die, he croaked. Die, he said again.
Okay with Larry. His radio crackled. You coming, 32?
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If Silas was the Chabot police force, she was City Hall. Got something I want to check out here. You owe me, she said. I just got my hair done. Just off, baby, she said. Start your free 30 days. Page 1 of 1. Silas and Larry were once friends for a short time, though one was white and one was black. Larry's life is forever changed after he goes on a date with a girl who is never seen again.
Coming Out in the South
Silas and Larry's lives cross paths again many years later. The book is really well written, and though some things are foreshadowed, I was still surprised by some twists and turns.
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The inner of lives of Larry and Silas are very well handled, and you also get to meet a cast of secondary characters. My heart went out to Larry, especially the more I learned about him--though I also understood his treatment by the community. I also really identified with Silas, although of course he turns out to be imperfect.
Aren't we all? So many lives so tarnished forever by things that could have so easily been different. And yet. Oh my dear Lord, this book is so fantastic. I literally stayed up all night reading this.