On a sultry summer night in 1915, Jay Follet leaves his house in Knoxville, Tennessee, to tend to his father, whom he belives is dying. The summons turns out to be a false alarm, but on his way back to his family, Jay has a car accident and is killed instantly. Dancing back and forth in time and braiding the viewpoints of Jay's wife, brother, and young son, Rufus, Agee creates an overwhelming powerful novel of innocence, tenderness, and loss that should be read for the sheer music of its prose.
James Agee was born in Tennesse in 1909 and graduated from Harvard University. His renowned study of Alabama sharecroppers during the Depression, 'Let Us Now Praise Famous Men', appeared in 1941. Agee was known for his movie reviews and screenplays, and published a volume of poetry and a novella. He died in 1955, two years before his major work of fiction, A Death in the Family, was published and won the Pulitzer Prize. Blake Morrison was born in Skipton, Yorkshire, in 1950.His non-fiction books include And When Did You Last See Your Father? (1993), As If (1997), Too True (1998), Things My Mother Never Told Me (2002). His first novel, The Justification of Johann Gutenberg was published in 2000. Blake Morrison lives in London.