When the good people of Cranston, Texas learn a hometown boy has been killed in Iraq, they set about mounting a proper memorial for their fallen hero. Yet nobody thinks to ask the boy’s reclusive father, Joe Morton, if such a service is wanted, or welcome. Crippled by grief and not one to make waves, Joe goes along with the plans of the townsfolk until he can bear no more. Finally, on the Fourth of July, he tells them just how he feels. But his sole act of independence brings unexpected and devastating consequences. The residents, and least of all Joe Morton, are wholly unprepared for what happens next: change and the outside world come to Cranston. First runner-up for the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s Gold Medal.
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Michael DeVault was born in Mississippi and grew up in Louisiana and Arkansas, which gave him a strong grounding in the rich musical and literary traditions of the South. He worked as a journalist for more than twelve years, covering politics and the arts for local and regional publications while he also worked on his novels. A two-time finalist for the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society Gold Medal (Novel-in-Progress, 2002, Anything But Ordinary; Novella, 2008, The Patriot Joe Morton), Michael’s fiction draws on his youth to weave tapestries of intensely believable characters, finely honed plots, and imagery and symbolism inspired by the great southern writers, all wrapped into a package by clean, sharp prose. Michael received an MFA in Creative Writing from Lindenwood University in 2013, and when he’s not writing, he teaches college writing and English.