Michael Farris Smith

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Biography

Michael Farris Smith is author of Desperation Road (Barnes & Noble Discover pick, Indie Next selection, and Amazon Best Book), Rivers (for which he received the 2014 Mississippi Author Award for Fiction), and The Hands of Strangers. He has received the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Arts Fellowship, the Transatlantic Review Award for Fiction, and his essays have appeared in the New York TimesCatfish AlleyDeep South magazine, and more. He lives in Mississippi with his wife and two daughters.


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Desperation Road: A Novel

An Amazon Best Book of the Month
An Indie Next Pick
A Barnes & Noble Discover Pick
One of Southern Living's Best Southern Books of 2017

In the vein of Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone and the works of Ron Rash, a novel set in a tough-and-tumble Mississippi town where drugs, whiskey, guns, and the desire for revenge violently intersect.

For eleven years the clock has been ticking for Russell Gaines as he sits in Parchman Penitentiary in the Mississippi Delta. His sentence is now up, and he believes his debt has been paid. But when he returns home, he soon discovers that revenge lives and breathes all around him.

On the same day that Russell is released from prison, a woman named Maben and her young daughter trudge along the side of the interstate under the punishing summer sun. Desperate and exhausted, the pair spend their last dollar on a room for the night, a night that ends with Maben running through the darkness holding a pistol, and a dead deputy sprawled in the middle of the road in the glow of his own headlights.

With the dawn, destinies collide, and Russell is forced to decide whose life he will saveā€”his own or those of the woman and child.

Delivered in powerful and lyrical prose, Desperation Road is a story of troubled souls twisted with regret and bound by secrets that stretch over the years and across the land.

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