A brilliant debut collection of stories set in the American Deep South, by a distinctive and award-winning new voice.
Poachers reads as if Raymond Carver were still alive and living in the profoundly Deep South. Or imagine a world created by Cormac McCarthy and plunk it down in the woods of southern Alabama, where emotions run as raw as moonshine.
In ten spare, muscular stories, Tom Franklin evokes a world of forests and swamps, hunting and fishing, and fills it with poachers, drunks and poor white trash. He creates haunting tales about people who react, often violently, against a dying world whose gravity they can't escape, people like the three half-wild brothers in the award-winning title story, who treat the swamp as their kingdom and hunt down anything that crosses their path - until they themselves become the prey.
`It's as if the author kidnapped Raymond Carver's characters and set them loose in the Deep South.'
New York Times Book Review
`I am amazed by [Franklin's] power. I'm reminded, by the evocative strength of the prose and the relentlessness of the imagination, of Faulkner. Franklin is a vivid portraitist of these harsh human types, and his authority in depicting the natural world "along this stretch of the Alabama River" is dazzling. I can't believe he's not better known, but he will be, and soon.'
`This is as strong a collection as any I've read in recent years. The stories are collectively and individually brilliant, imbued with a high sense of Southern Gothic and a dark sense of humour.'
Tom Franklin was born and raised in south Alabama, where he worked as a heavy-equipment operator in a grit factory, a construction inspector in a chemical plant and a clerk in a hospital morgue. He now teaches fiction writing at the University of South Alabama.
Poachers is his first collection. He is now at work on a novel, Hell at the Breech, also to be published by Flamingo.
`Unforgettable . . . Poachers is like a hand that comes out of the green swamp on a moonless night and pulls you from the canoe. What Poachers is really about is discovering a new writer who reminds you that you love to read.' Tampa Tribune