Seventeen-year-old Fay escapes from her brutish family and sets off to hitch from Oxford, Mississippi, to Biloxi. Barely schooled, barely literate, Fay has never heard of the Civil War. She doesn't know that you're supposed to tip waitresses. She's never been to a movie. And most dangerously, she has no idea of the effect she has on men.
She catches a break - picked up by Sam, a state trooper with a lakeside home and a private sorrow he shares with his wife Amy. For the first time in her life Fay feels favoured by fortune. But tragedy and jealousy intervene, and she heads on to Biloxi, leaving a dead body behind her.
In Biloxi, Fay is dragged into a sordid world of strippers, whores and drugs, and a relationship with Aaron, a menacing bouncer. She learns how to survive there, though she wishes Sam could come and rescue her. But although Fay is ignorant, she's not stupid. And as the book moves to its violent conclusion, we realise she's not willing to be a victim all her life.
In Fay, with its unforgettable heroine and its utterly mesmeric evocation of the American South, Larry Brown has written another modern American classic.
That Brown reminds you of Faulkner and of McCarthy . . . is a compliment to each' USA Today
'Father and Son is one of the very best novels of our time . . . Not since Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov has a novelist probed as deeply into the paternal condition, the plight of it, the splendour of it' Washington Times