The Outlaw Album
By Daniel Woodrell
(Little, Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316057561, 176pp.)
Publication Date: October 2011
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Twelve timeless Ozarkian tales of those on the fringes of society, by a "stunningly original" (Associated Press) American master.
Daniel Woodrell is able to lend uncanny logic to harsh, even criminal behavior in this wrenching collection of stories. Desperation-both material and psychological--motivates his characters. A husband cruelly avenges the killing of his wife's pet; an injured rapist is cared for by a young girl, until she reaches her breaking point; a disturbed veteran of Iraq is murdered for his erratic behavior; an outsider's house is set on fire by an angry neighbor.
There is also the tenderness and loyalty of the vulnerable in these stories--between spouses, parents and children, siblings, and comrades in arms-which brings the troubled, sorely tested cast of characters to vivid, relatable life. And, as ever, "the music coming from Woodrell's banjo cannot be confused with the sounds of any other writer" (Donald Harington, Atlanta Journal Constitution).
Five of Daniel Woodrell's eight published novels were selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Tomato Red won the PEN West Award for the Novel in 1999. Woodrell lives in the Ozarks near the Arkansas line with his wife, Katie Estill.
Praise for THE OUTLAW ALBUM:
"Woodrell writes about violence and dark deeds better than almost anyone in America today, in compact, musical prose that doesn't dwell on visceral detail. An unerring craftsman, he can fully describe a murder in one rich sentence....Most of the stories deal with the darkest recesses of the human heart, and once you begin reading them you can't stop."
-New York Times Book Review
"An intense volume of fury and blood in the Ozarks, it crystallizes Woodrell's slicing wit and unflinching confrontation with criminality and tragedy."
-Kansas City Star
"The Outlaw Album is a collection of stories by one of the world's great novelists, Daniel Woodrell, and it's brilliant."
-Guardian, "Books of the Year"
"A stunner. Woodrell has the rare ability to tell compelling stories rooted in familiar soil that are simultaneously simple and complex, local and universal, funny and tragic."
-St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Best Books of 2011"
"Woodrell's prose is spare, even stern, yet capable of unexpected lyricism. Amid the rage, despair, and hatred his characters live with, he teases out and displays their deep stores of love and loyalty, and a surprisingly bracing humor."
"A writer whose words flow with the elemental power of Cormac McCarthy, William Gay, and Chris Offutt, he's chipped an impression of the Ozarks and its people in stone that will endure time....Let these stories be your Bible."
"The human desperation behind the violence is gripping. If anyone understands what motivates a man to keep shooting a corpse with a squirrel rifle, it's Woodrell."
Praise for WINTER'S BONE:
"Woodrell's Old Testament prose and blunt vision have a chilly timelessness that suggests this novel will speak to readers as long as there are readers."
-The New York Times Book Review
"Despite the roughness of the content, Woodrell has a poet's sense of how to turn a phrase. . . . Seek him out now, throw down fifteen bucks, and bend your face to the page. You'll come away as I do--darkly changed, begging for another."
"The lineage from Faulkner to Woodrell runs as deep and true as an Ozark stream in this book...his most profound and haunting work yet."
-Los Angeles Times Book Review