Pete Dexter, author of Paris Trout (1988), is also a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. He has lived in the South, Midwest, and the Plain States, and he has been beaten by a mob, angry at his newspaper writing. He has seen the seedy side of life and he writes about it in his novels. The characters seem authentic Southern, both black and white, and run the gamut from the ignorant to the indifferent middle, to wife beaters, adulterers, murderers, tax evaders, racists, and cheats. There is not much room left for ordinary middle of the road Southerners. Dexter leaves that to the ordinary writers that pass on the mythology that white Southerners are all Jesus loving saints.
Winner of the National Book Award, Pete Dexter's intense, harrowing novel is set in a small town in Georgia and about the simmering tensions that erupt after a disliked, but prominent citizen shoots two black girls. The title character is among the most unpleasant you'll meet, but Dexter makes him, if not sympathetic, wholly believable and even a little sad. There are echoes of great Southern writers like Faulkner and Lee, but Dexter has a sharp style and moral gravity all his own. Filmed with Dennis Hopper and Ed Harris.
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