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A Large & Startling Figure

The Harry Crews Online Bibliography


In 1968, Crews published his first novel The Gospel Singer, and over the next eight years, published seven more. After completing his most celebrated work A Childhood in 1978, and committing himself to writing non-fiction and several unproduced screenplays, Crews did not publish another major novel until All We Need of Hell in 1987. The Enthusiast, a limited edition, was published in 1981, but is essentially the first chapter from All We Need of Hell, and was reprinted in Florida Frenzy.

Except for library collections and used book dealers, finding certain books by Crews can be difficult. Of the 14 novels Crews has published since The Gospel Singer, only half are in print, and of the first eight only four are available in the U.S.

But by the early 1990s, his popularity in France, Italy, and the U.K. enabled publishers there to bring his translated works to European audiences for the first time. In 1993, along with Poseidon in the U.S., the British publisher Gorse released Classic Crews, a reader that collected two out-of-print novels, The Gypsy's Curse and Car, the memoir A Childhood, and the essays, "Fathers, Sons, Blood," "The Car," and "Climbing the Tower." In 1995, Gorse also re-released The Gospel Singer, coupled with its unpublished sequel, Where Does One Go When There's No Place Left to Go? And in 1996, Crews's only dramatic work, "Blood Issue"—commissioned by the Actors Theatre of Louisville—was collected in By Southern Playwrights.

His last four novels are available in paperback, and a limited edition of Where Does One Go When There's No Place Left to Go? was published in the U.S. in 1998.

An American Family: The Baby with the Curious Markings An American Family: The Baby with the Curious Markings. Los Angeles CA: Graham Publishing, Blood & Guts Press, 2006. 103 pages. Cover and frontispiece illustration by Michael Graham. ISBN: 0-940941-01-5.

"An American Family by Harry Crews is published in three editions: 26 lettered & signed copies hand-bound in goatskin with handmade paper boards housed in a special custom slipcase, 300 numbered & signed copies in quarter leather with handmade paper boards & slipcase, and 2,000 trade hardcover copies bound in cloth."

Front cover blurb by Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth): "God bless Harry Crews, America's best writer. He'll break your heart but he'll always bring you love. They just don't make 'em like this anymore."

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Celebration Celebration.
Simon & Schuster, 1998.

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Where Does One Go When There's No Place Left to Go? Where Does One Go When There's No Place Left to Go?
Los Angeles CA: Blood & Guts Press, April 1998.

Signed, limited edition of 400 numbered and 26 lettered copies of Crews' companion to The Gospel Singer. Cover illustrated by Ralph Steadman.

While not endowed with the elegance of the Lord John books, the sturdy Blood & Guts edition has the pragmatic feel and heft of a workman's tool. Steadman's avidly idiosyncratic style—well-known from his corroborative efforts with Hunter S. Thompson—is strikingly appropriate for Crews, the titles and cover art reflecting the grotesque turn and assault of the artist's own imagination on his or her reality.

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The Gospel Singer & Where Does One Go When There's No Place Left to Go? The Gospel Singer &
Where Does One Go When There's No Place Left to Go?
London: Gorse Publications, 1995.

Reprint of Crews's first novel, long out of print, The Gospel Singer. Also contains the previously unpublished novella, Where Does One Go When There's No Place Left to Go?, a story about a writer named Harry Crews who is kidnapped by characters from his own novels.

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The Mulching of America The Mulching of America.
Simon & Schuster, 1995. 0684825414

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Scar Lover Scar Lover.
Poseidon Press, 1992. 0671797867

Dedication reads, "This book is dedicated to my main man Sean Penn."

An excerpt appeared in The Southern Quarterly [31.2 (Winter 1993): 189].

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Body: A Tragicomedy Body.
Poseidon Press, 1990. 0671758527

Excerpted in Playboy [37.8 (August 1990): 64-66, 88, 153-156].

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The Knockout Artist The Knockout Artist.
Harper & Row, 1988.

"Eugene had heard the word lagniappe from the day he arrived in New Orleans. He had finally seen it spelled on the menu at Jacques' and asked how you said it and what it meant. It meant "a little something extra," and it was pronounced "lan-yap." He had written his daddy about it and his daddy had written back that he did not care how they said it, he did not have any use for a word like that. It did not seem to him that a natural man would want to say such a thing and he hoped that Eugene would not use it in front of women folk and that he would be careful around anybody who did."

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All We Need of Hell All We Need of Hell.
Harper & Row, 1987.

Lucy Harrison, former student of Crews, wrote a perspective about All We Need of Hell.

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The Enthusiast The Enthusiast.
Winston-Salem NC: Palaemon Press, 1981.

Limited edition of 200 signed copies, "of which 150, numbered 1-150, are for public sale, and 50, numbereed I-L, are for distribution by the author and publisher" (see Hargraves A11). Comprising nearly the first five chapters of All We Need of Hell, The Enthusiast was republished in the collection Florida Frenzy.

A Feast of Snakes A Feast of Snakes.
Atheneum, 1976.

Excerpted in Playboy [23.7 (July 1976): 139-140, 198, 200-202].

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The Gypsy's Curse The Gypsy's Curse.
Alfred A. Knopf, 1974.

The dedication reads, "This book is for John Ciardi and Byron Jason Crews, two damn fine fellers."

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The Hawk is Dying.
Alfred A. Knopf, 1973.

Disavowing his family's expectations to mourn the death of his nephew, George Gattling focuses on breaking a captured hawk, an action that sets him on a course contrary to business and family responsibilities, but affords him psychological satisfaction.

"George got off the stump and knelt in the damp earth. He felt like a fool. There were stars over the preacher's head, stars that had been cut out and pasted up, and there was the cardboard house lighted at false windows by artfully directed spots, and there was the audience silently watching and breathing out there in the darkness beyond the stage."

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William Morrow, 1972.

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Karate is a Thing of the Spirit Karate is a Thing of the Spirit.
William Morrow, 1971.

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This Thing Don't Lead to Heaven.
William Morrow, 1970.

"Junior Bledsoe believed in death with a missionary zeal. He believed in the rightness and justness of death. And believing it as he did, he was concerned that most men did not believe in it, that death was not accepted, finally, by most men as an intimate, personal, individual problem—like, say, bad breath or B.O. So he had taken the knowledge of death as his special province and confronting every man with his own mortality as his particular talent in the world."

Naked In Garden Hills Naked in Garden Hills.
William Morrow, 1969.

The former employees of a failed phosphate mining operation in Northern Florida seek renewed fortune by converting the vacated industrial park to a by-the-highway tourist attraction.

"The sign said A GO-GO and that was what she had come to do, go-go to the top, to the place where people had contracts, security, to the place where nobody was virgin because nobody had any reason to save it."

The Gospel Singer The Gospel Singer.
William Morrow, February 1968.

The dedication reads, "This novel is for Smith Kirkpatrick whose apprentice I am."

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A Large & Startling Figure: The Harry Crews Online Bibliography
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