Synopses & Reviews
She's had no education, hardly any shelter, and you can't call what her father's been trying to give her since she grew up "love." So, at the ripe age of seventeen, Fay Jones leaves home.
She lights out alone, wearing her only dress and rotting sneakers, carrying a purse with a half pack of cigarettes and two dollar bills. Even in 1985 Mississippi, two dollars won't go far on the road. She's headed for the bright lights and big times and even she knows she needs help getting there. But help's not hard to come by when you look like Fay.
There's a highway patrolman who gives her a lift, with a detour to his own place. There are truck drivers who pull over to pick her up, no questions asked. There's a crop duster pilot with money for a night or two on the town. And finally there's a strip joint bouncer who deals on the side.
At the end of this suspenseful, compulsively readable novel, there are five dead bodies stacked up in Fay's wake. Fay herself is sighted for the last time in New Orleans. She'll make it, whatever making it means, because Fay's got what it takes: beauty, a certain kind of innocent appeal, and the instinct for survival.
Set mostly in the seedy beach bars, strip joints, and massage parlors of Biloxi, Mississippi, back before the casinos took over, Fay is a novel that only Larry Brown, the reigning king of Grit Lit, could have written. As the New York Times Book Review once put it, he's "a writer absolutely confident of his own voice. He knows how to tell a story."
The Washington Post called Larry Brown "one of the best writers we have, able in a sentence or two to cut to the heart of things in a way few other writers can", and The New York Times Book Review praised him as "a writer absolutely confident of his voice. He knows how to tell a story". In Fay, Brown brings these extraordinary skills to the story of a seventeen-year-old femme fatale hitching down a Mississippi highway.
A beautiful, naive, and good-hearted woman, Fay is fleeing home and her father's sexual advances, only to encounter a series of men all too willing to take care of her. As she makes her way from the woods just north of Oxford to the beaches of Biloxi, leaving bodies in her wake, Fay emerges as one of the most captivating heroines in recent fiction -- an innocent beauty with a sure-fire instinct for survival.
NATIONAL FANFARE FOR LARRY BROWN
"Gifted with brilliant descriptive ability, a perfect ear for dialogue, and an unflinching eye...stark, often funny...with a core as dark as a Delta midnight." -Entertainment Weekly
"He left the Oxford, Mississippi, fire department after his first novel was published. It paid off." -Men's Journal
"He is blunt and abrasive about subjects that tend to cause flinching. He tells stories in plain language." --The New Yorker
"Clear, simple and powerful." -Time Magazine
PRAISE FOR FATHER AND SON
"A powerful tale of love and betrayal, family ties and brutal revenge." -The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"The model is Faulkner, but his influence has been absorbed and transcended." -The New York Times Book Review
"So vividly written it is almost cinematic." -The Orlando Sentinel
"It reads like a stud poker game of life, tension growing with the turning of each card." -The Dallas Morning News
"Cancel the competition for suspense thriller of the year. Larry Brown has already won it with Father and Son." -St. Louis Post-Dispatch
About the Author
Larry Brown was born in Lafayette County, Mississippi, where he lived all his life. At the age of thirty, a captain in the Oxford Fire Department, he decided to become a writer and worked toward that goal for seven years before publishing his first book, Facing the Music, a collection of stories, in 1988. With the publication of his first novel, Dirty Work, he quit the fire station in order to write fulltime. Between then and his untimely death in 2004, he published seven more books. His three grown children and his widow, Mary Annie Brown, live near Oxford.