Harry Crews

Evangelists. Snake-oil salesmen. Sociopaths. These were the fictional characters Harry Crews spent his life chronicling--tortured, compelling souls seeking redemption in the Deep South. And the author, who died March 28 at 76, had a rich, rough life to help seed his 17 novels. Born the son of a sharecropper in 1930s Georgia, Crews survived an alcoholic stepfather, then drank and fought with a fervor all his own for decades. In 2010, the retired University of Florida professor spoke about having the courage to throw away a half finished novel when it took a wrong turn: "The real artist, with no tear...

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