A Miracle of Catfish, the novel that Larry Brown was working on at the time of his sudden death, is released tomorrow. So we’ll have plenty of coverage this week.
For now, I’ll refer to what Martin Clark, author of The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living and Plain Heathen Mischief, had to say about Larry Brown and the novel. In a mass email, Clark exhorts people to read the book. “At the risk of offending a few folks on this email list, until he died on November 24, 2004, Larry Brown was in my opinion the finest writer taking in air on this planet,” Clark writes. “He left behind an almost completed novel called A MIRACLE OF CATFISH, and everyone should buy the book (which is now on sale or soon will be) because it’s over-the-moon good. We should also buy it because we all make noise about supporting good novels when they’re actually published, and this is top-drawer stuff. We should buy it to reward a publisher, Algonquin, who did the right thing and is taking a chance on a book that doesn’t have a formal ending. And finally, we should buy it so as to put a few dollars in Larry’s widow’s purse… CATFISH is not as powerful as FAY or as perfect as BIG BAD LOVE, but give it about thirty pages to get rolling and you’ll be amazed. Most remarkable, the book is this superb, this compelling, and it’s essentially a first draft and lacks three chapters.”