By Ken Wells
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780375758164, 272pp.)
Publication Date: August 14, 2001
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Fifteen-year-old Meely LaBauve is growing up on Catahoula Bayou and living by his wits. Not since Huck Finn rafted down the Mississippi has there been a coming-of-age story like this, told in such an utterly authentic unlettered American voice. From a charming encounter with first love in the Canciennes' corn patch to an adventurous paddle through wild and timeless places little explored, Ken Wells has cooked up a zesty gumbo of a book--rich, poignant, and often hilarious.
* An American Library Association/YALSA best book of the year
Ken Wells is a senior writer and features editor for page one of The Wall Street Journal. In 1982, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for The Miami Herald. He lives with his family outside Manhattan.
"Do yourself a favor and become acquainted with Emile LaBauve... a cross between Huck Finn & Oliver Twist, with south Louisiana accent and a backwoods attitude... There's a major talent at work here."
--The Denver Post
"[A] short and expert first novel... not only funny but infused with Wells's deep love of Cajun patois."
--The New York Times Book Review
"[An] endearing debut"
--The Washington Post Book World
"Wells makes a lively fiction debut with this affectionate slice of Louisiana bayou life... Meely's Cajun-spiced charisma never flags."
"[Meely is] a cross between Huck Finn and Oliver Twist, which a South Louisiana accent and a backwoods attitude....There's a major talent at work here."
"Often laugh-out-loud funny [but] Wells has carved a sincere and courageous portrait of a boy becoming a man."
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For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org