Tom Franklin


Three works of 21st-century fiction that provoke, dazzle, and delight.



Mississippi native Tom Franklin earned comparisons to none other than William Faulkner with the publication of Hell at the Breach, his tale of vengeance and violence in an Alabama town at the close of the 19th century.  His riveting new novel Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, also examines crime and kinship in a small Southern community, but brings the action to the 1970s mileu of his own boyhood.  Here, Tom Franklin recommends three compelling works of fiction.


Books by Tom Franklin




The Typist

By Michael Knight


"Knight's story of a post-WWII football game in Tokyo is brilliantly imagined and rendered, with the devastated Japansese landscape an amazing setting. My favorite aspect of this novel, though, is the relationship between its narrator and General MacArthur's son, Arthur. This is Michael Knight's finest book to date."




By John Reimringer


"An amazing novel. Though I read it several months ago, it's stayed with me in a way few books do. It's a deeply profound character study of a priest at odds with his own lust and emotions. It's also funny, shocking, profane and, ultimately, deeply moving and gorgeous."





The Mysterious Secret of the Valuable Treasure

By Jack Pendarvis


"If you think the title is funny, wait'll you read the book. But it's much, much more than merely "funny": Pendarvis tightropes between comedy and tragedy as well anyone working these days, and the results are stories to revisit again and again. Just read "Sex Devil" and you'll be hooked. I promise."


April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.