Books: Captive Poet

JAMES AGEE: A LIFE by Laurence Bergreen Dutton; 467 pages; $20

One May night in Tennessee, when James Rums Agee was six years old, his father drove off the Clinton Pike. One wheel of his Ford was still spinning in the air when the first witness arrived. Jay Agee lay face down about a foot from the car, his clothes scarcely mussed. The only sign of violence was a small cut on the chin.

James Agee spent the rest of his life trying to understand his father's absurd end, spinning his own wheels as...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!