George V. Higgins

The Life and Writings

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About the Book

Best known for his popular crime fiction, Boston novelist George V. Higgins (1939–1999) should stand among the top ranks of the American literary canon. In his 26 novels and dozens of short stories, Higgins chronicled the lives of Boston’s Irish with his trademark hard-boiled dialog, exploring the criminal underworld, American democracy, Boston politics, personal redemption and New England life in the tradition of Hawthorne and Thoreau. This intimate biography explores his turbulent life and career, including his working-class Irish Catholic roots, his two stormy marriages, his ambivalence toward the city of his birth, his passion for the limelight, and his drinking, which disrupted his family life and led to his early death at age 59. Discussions of Higgins’s individual works and excerpts from his correspondence, writings, and thoughts on literature complete this revealing portrait.

About the Author(s)

Erwin H. Ford II teaches at Albany State University in Georgia. He has written for the Buffalo News (New York) and the News and Observer (Raleigh), and has been a columnist for Cox Communication newspapers. He lives in Americus, Georgia.

Bibliographic Details

Erwin H. Ford II
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: photo, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9475-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1635-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Foreword by Peter Wolfe 1
Preface 5
1. Strange Faiths and Cruelties 9
2. Cutting Up Animals in the Basement 27
3. Nobody Gets Writer’s Block 36
4. Double Eagle 42
5. Let Us Go Forward Together 46
6. A Ruthless Fidelity 52
7. The Vox Americana 65
8. Maximum John 72
9. The Lit’ry Life 87
10. Whack Him Another Fee 92
11. Hub Man 103
12. The Mothers 117
13. That Scurvy Mob 132
14. A Paucity of Decorum 145
15. My Lost Duchess 158
16. A Great Swaggering Bear 169
17. On the Other Side Is the Abyss 180
Afterword 193
Chapter Notes 195
Bibliography 212
Index 215