A Miracle of Catfish by Larry Brown

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Larry Brown has been a force in American literature since taking critics by storm with his debut collection, Facing the Music, in 1988. His subsequent work—five novels, another story collection, and two books of nonfiction—continued to bring extraordinary praise and national attention to the writer New York Newsday called a "master."

In November 2004, Brown sent the nearly completed manuscript of his sixth novel to his literary agent. A week later, he died of a massive heart attack. He was fifty-three years old.

A Miracle of Catfish is that novel. Brown's trademarks—his raw detail, pared-down prose, and characters under siege—are all here.

This beautiful, heartbreaking anthem to the writer's own North Mississippi land and the hard-working, hard-loving, hard-losing men it spawns is the story of one year in the lives of five characters—an old farmer with a new pond he wants stocked with baby catfish; a bankrupt fish pond stocker who secretly releases his forty-pound brood catfish into the farmer's pond; a little boy from the trailer home across the road who inadvertently hooks the behemoth catfish; the boy's inept father; and a former convict down the road who kills a second time to save his daughter.

That Larry Brown died so young, and before he could see A Miracle of Catfish published, is a tragedy. That he had time to enrich the legacy of his work with this remarkable book is a blessing.

About Larry Brown

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Larry Brown was born in Lafayette County, Mississippi, where he lived all his life. At the age of thirty, a captain in the Oxford Fire Department, he decided to become a writer and worked toward that goal for seven years before publishing his first book, Facing the Music, a collection of stories, in 1988. With the publication of his first novel, Dirty Work, he quit the fire station in order to write fulltime. Between then and his untimely death in 2004, he published seven more books. His three grown children and his widow, Mary Annie Brown, live near Oxford.
Published March 20, 2007 by A Shannon Ravenel Book. 482 pages
Genres: Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Miracle of Catfish

The New York Times

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A catfish pond and a cast of eccentrics are at the center of Larry Brown’s unfinished posthumous novel.

Apr 29 2007 | Read Full Review of A Miracle of Catfish

USA Today

Larry Brown's A Miracle of Catfish is subtitled A Novel in Progress.

| Read Full Review of A Miracle of Catfish

Bookmarks Magazine

Larry Brown died in 2004 at age 53, leaving behind a nearly completed novel.

Aug 02 2007 | Read Full Review of A Miracle of Catfish

Austin Chronicle

Ultimately it is the unflinching but humanistic observation of rural Southern manhood – the hopes and betrayals of kinship, the frustrations of poverty and thwarted success, the seemingly inexorable pull of poor decisions, the urge to protect that can become violent – that will define Brown's bod...

Mar 09 2007 | Read Full Review of A Miracle of Catfish

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