aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

How Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter came to be

An AP article on Tom Franklin’s Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novelbegins, “When author Tom Franklin submitted the first 80 pages of his new novel, "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter," to his literary agent, he got an alarming response. Nat Sobel would fly down. Immediately.”

Since I’ve known people whose agents have flown out with really great news I didn’t find it alarming. But then the article goes on to say that the agent staged what was nearly an intervention - telling Franklin that most of his book (which had long been under contract) was no good.

The books about two boys - one white and one black - who are friends as children thirty years ago and then grow apart as teens. Then the white boy takes a girl on a date to a drive-in movie -only she never comes back from the date. He is the prime suspect, but there isn’t enough evidence to charge him. Cut to now: the white man is an outcast and loner, the black man a constable.

And then another girl disappears.

The title comes from a pneumonic device used to teach children how to spell Mississippi: M, I, crooked-letter, crooked-letter, I, crooked-letter, crooked-letter, I, humpback, humpback, I.

Read more about Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter here.

I really liked the book, although there was one plot point I felt didn’t ring true. If you’ve read the book and would like to talk about it, let me know.

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