The Outlaw Album
The Outlaw Album is an apt title because its dozen selections are more vignettes than stories, like snap shots in a photo album. (If you forget what a photo album is, look for a picture of one in your "Pictures" folder or on one of the popular search engines.)
The most heartbreaking sentence in the collection so far? This, from "Florianne," about a man whose daughter has disappeared years before:
"At the opening of each deer season I hope this time she’ll be found."Look what Woodrell does with that sentence. He lets us know that the setting is rural and its people are hunters. He lets us know that the man has been looking for his daughter a long time, and that the futile hope has become as natural and as recurring as the seasons. It's like Beckett's "You must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on," but without the middle step.
(I write about Woodrell's Bayou Trilogy — which I read before Barack Obama let the world know that he had read it — here.)
© Peter Rozovsky 2012