I've met Harry Crews only once at a book signing for "The Knockout Artist" sometime in the early 1990's. At the time I had almost all of his works which he gratefully signed with a personal message.
When I read his novels I am amazed at his ability to describe a character or situation in such fine detail that I hear his voice sculpting the character as I continue, seeing just what they look like in my mind.
His style is so readable and his characters so believable that it is as if he is a sculptor, making his characters totally three dimentional and very alive.
I read all his books over again as they are always fresh, always enjoyable and always Harry Crews believeable: Sometimes eccentric, sad, unfortunate, obsessed, freakish but always fully human in quality and situation.
Picking a favorite is difficult at best: Naked in Garden Hills, The Knockout Artist, Body, The Gospel Singer and The Gypsy's Curse are among my top pics at the moment.
I wish I had been able to sit down with him over a bottle of whiskey and discuss his methods and motives for his characters. He was and continues to be a national treasure that will always be with us.
I hope Harry is still dreaming and writing, wherever he is today.
May the cosmos keep you, Harry Crews.
A Harry Crews Fan for Life,