Monday, October 7, 2013

Michael Farris Smith

Michael Farris Smith is a native Mississippian who has spent time living abroad in France and Switzerland. He has been awarded the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Arts Fellowship, the Transatlantic Review Award for Fiction, the Alabama Arts Council Fellowship Award for Literature, and the Brick Streets Press Short Story Award. His short fiction has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and his essays have appeared with the New York Times, University Press of Mississippi, and more.

Smith's new novel is Rivers.

Last month I asked the author about what he was reading.  Smith's reply:
I’m wandering through the eerie, haunting backwoods of William Gay’s Twilight. It’s Southern Gothic at its best, the dark psychology of a grotesque small town undertaker, the gun-for-hire roughneck who keeps killing people and keeps getting away with it, innocence falling victim, the haunting landscape of shadows and thickets and twisting dirt pathways. But what I’ve always admired most about William Gay is his ability to write a sentence. I can’t count how many times I have reread a sentence or passage simply because of the incredible or interesting or beautiful use of language. What holds this novel together, besides the hypnotic language and unpredictable characters, is the hope of good defeating evil against tremendous odds. I feel almost like I’m sitting around a campfire listening to a really good ghost story.
Visit Michael Farris Smith's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Rivers.

--Marshal Zeringue