St. Olaf News
Percy profiles author Daniel Woodrell in Esquire magazine
September 10, 2013
In the new issue of Esquire magazine, St. Olaf College Writer in Residence Benjamin Percy profiles Daniel Woodrell, noting that “the dark-hearted author of nine novels … may be the best writer you’ve never heard of.”
In preparing the piece, Percy spent a stormy weekend with Woodrell in his native Ozark hill country — the very environment where the author sets many of his stories.
“Woodrell has long been considered a world class prose stylist and storyteller: a writer’s writer,” Percy notes in his piece. “Yet despite his acclaimed novels — among them, the darkly brilliant The Death of Sweet Mister (about a deeply troubled mother and son living in a graveyard) and the PEN West–winning Tomato Red (about an out-of-control criminal who tries to make right but always ends up wrong) — he has somehow remained one of American literature’s best-kept secrets. It was not until Winter’s Bone, published in 2006, was adapted into the 2010 Oscar-nominated film about the poor, desperate, and unforgettable Ree Dolly on a mission to save her family and find her meth-cooking father that Woodrell received widespread attention.”
Percy serves as a contributing editor for Esquire, and is the author of two novels and two books of stories. His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Time, GQ, Men’s Journal, and Outside. His new novel, Red Moon, was one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2013 and has garnered widespread critical acclaim.