Common Reading Experience
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter


Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter


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Edgar Award-winning author Tom Franklin returns with his most accomplished and resonant novel so far—an atmospheric drama set in rural Mississippi. In the late 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county—and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town. More than twenty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion. Silas has returned as a constable. He and Larry have no reason to cross paths until another girl disappears and Larry is blamed again. And now the two men who once called each other friend are forced to confront the past they've buried and ignored for decades.

Publication Date


Relational Format



American Literature

Subject Headings (LCSH)

Male friendship -- Fiction; City and town life -- Mississippi -- Fiction; Psychological fiction


Link to research resource guide for Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, compiled by UM Libraries.

Additional files include:

  • Classroom resource guide created by EDHE, School of Nursing, and Center for Writing and Rhetoric Instructors

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter