One of my favorite writers in the world died yesterday. I can’t add to the obituaries that are already out there, but if you consider yourself a writer and you’ve never read or heard of Harry Crews, do yourself a favor and get your hands on some of his work. Fiction, nonfiction, autobiography–it doesn’t matter; it’s all good. Even when he was writing made-up stories, every single word was the truth with a capital “T.” Studying his stuff, taking it apart line by line, you can learn everything you need to know about writing–real writing, writing that comes from the heart and kicks you in the gut.
Note: The language may not be safe for work, but if your boss walks in, just punch him in the throat and keep listening.
And finally, the New York Times obituary: