The rough South lost one of its boldest and most original voices yesterday when Harry Crews passed away at the age of 76. Though he lived most of his life in Gainesville, Florida, he was born and raised in Bacon County, Georgia. His early years in Georgia are the subject of one of his most widely acclaimed works, A CHILDHOOD: THE BIOGRAPHY OF A PLACE.
Crews had a well-earned reputation for living fast and hard. Periods of prolific drinking and drug use became material for much of his work that includes more than fifteen works of fiction. Crews inspired other writers, including Larry Brown and Tim McLaurin, to ground their fictional worlds in the poor white South. He taught creative writing at the University of Florida and was an energetic mentor to younger writers, even as his health failed him in his later years.
For more about Harry Crews, please visit his entry in the New Georgia Encyclopedia.