Saturday, June 6, 2009

Writers Who Deserve More Attention I: Tim McLaurin

I mean, besides all of them. :-)

I'd like to create a warehouse of links occasionally, referencing writers who may or may not be on your list of popular or well-enough-known writers, along with some small commentary. When I do these, they'll be subject to additions and corrections at various points as I find more information, and I'll let y'all know when I edit. Today's writer is Tim McLaurin, a North Carolina native with a few novels, two memoirs and one epic-length poem to his credit.

I discovered his work by following the blurb trail from Harry Crews to Larry Brown to McLaurin. The first book I found was
the memoir Keeper of the Moon, probably his best-known book, in which he described his difficult childhood as well as his adult experience in recovery from the multiple myeloma which eventually killed him at age 48 in 2002. I'd read Crews' A Childhood first, so I knew more or less what I could expect from McLaurin. Poverty--hardscrabble poverty--and alcoholism, along with often-rapturous desciptions of the natural world, and considerable attention paid to the whys and wherefores of family interaction. The book remains in the enjoyable though quotidian realm until McLaurin begins to detail his battles with cancer. I wish everyone who ever sent me a cancer story would read this before sending it out again. It is a rock-hard revelation of a story, one you won't forget soon. I recommend, besides Keeper of the Moon, the following titles:

The Acorn Plan
The River Less Run
The Last Great Snake Show
Cured by Fire
Another Son of Man

Here's a small list of relevant links if you'd like to find out more about McLaurin:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've read all of Tim McLaurin's books and I love them all. I went to several of his book readings in Chapel Hill. One of his books, Woodrow's Trumpet, disturbed me so much that I asked Tim why he ended it like he did. He said, "that was the only way I could end it". I understand what he meant but when I finished that book I stayed awake all night. I used to see Tim around town and he was an incredibly warm, kind human being ALWAYS. The last time I saw Tim he was at the grocery store buying supplies for a party. When I spoke to him he told me his cancer was back but he said that he wasn't worried about it..... then he invited me to his party. Bye, sweet Tim...... you are missed.