RARA-AVIS: Re:Willeford Books

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 30 Jul 2010

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "David Corbett" <davidcorbettauthor@...> wrote:
    > The only other writer Willeford ever reminded me of was Harry Crews, and the relationship wasn't stylistic or thematic, but rather based on the simple fact they were so damn iconoclastic. I know Scott Phillips is a huge fan, and Willeford's widow, after reading THE ICE HARVEST, said something to the effect that it felt like he'd been "channeling Chuck," a compliment Scott cherished.

    There's also something that I have noticed in Willeford, that even in his most outrageous tales, there is a strong feeling of sincerity from the storyteller. In other words, regardless of the type of story, there is authenticity. I acknowledge that this is hard to pinpoint and it may be a personal impression, but it is a strong impression. I get the same feeling while reading Franz Kafka, I feel that the guy is telling it to me straight.

    I like all his books because of his voice, but my overall favorites are probably The Burnt Orange Heresy and Cockfighter. In those cases, the story is extraordinary as well as the telling.

    Somebody mentioned Harry Crews... both Willeford and Crews are two of the least known American masters. In fact, I don't think they're known at all by the public at large.



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