Writers Who Deserve More Attention I: Tim McLaurin

I mean, besides all of them. ūüôā

I'd like to cre­ate a ware­house of links occa­sion­al­ly, ref­er­enc­ing writ­ers who may or may not be on your list of pop­u­lar or well-enough-known writ­ers, along with some small com­men­tary. When I do these, they'll be sub­ject to addi­tions and cor­rec­tions at var­i­ous points as I find more infor­ma­tion, and I'll let y'all know when I edit. Today's writer is Tim McLau­rin, a North Car­oli­na native with a few nov­els, two mem­oirs and one epic-length poem to his credit.

I dis¬≠cov¬≠ered his work by fol¬≠low¬≠ing the blurb trail from Har¬≠ry Crews to Lar¬≠ry Brown to McLau¬≠rin. The first book I found was the mem¬≠oir Keep¬≠er of the Moon, prob¬≠a¬≠bly his best-known book, in which he described his dif¬≠fi¬≠cult child¬≠hood as well as his adult expe¬≠ri¬≠ence in recov¬≠ery from the mul¬≠ti¬≠ple myelo¬≠ma which even¬≠tu¬≠al¬≠ly killed him at age 48 in 2002. I'd read Crews' A Child¬≠hood first, so I knew more or less what I could expect from McLau¬≠rin. Poverty‚Äďhardscrabble poverty‚Äďand alco¬≠holism, along with often-rap¬≠tur¬≠ous descip¬≠tions of the nat¬≠ur¬≠al world, and con¬≠sid¬≠er¬≠able atten¬≠tion paid to the whys and where¬≠for¬≠es of fam¬≠i¬≠ly inter¬≠ac¬≠tion. The book remains in the enjoy¬≠able though quo¬≠tid¬≠i¬≠an realm until McLau¬≠rin begins to detail his bat¬≠tles with can¬≠cer. I wish every¬≠one who ever sent me a can¬≠cer sto¬≠ry would read this before send¬≠ing it out again. It is a rock-hard rev¬≠e¬≠la¬≠tion of a sto¬≠ry, one you won't for¬≠get soon. I rec¬≠om¬≠mend, besides Keep¬≠er of the Moon, the fol¬≠low¬≠ing titles:

The Acorn Plan
The Riv­er Less Run
The Last Great Snake Show
Cured by Fire
Anoth­er Son of Man

Here's a small list of rel­e­vant links if you'd like to find out more about McLaurin:

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4 Responses to Writers Who Deserve More Attention I: Tim McLaurin

  1. Nic Schuck says:

    I real¬≠ly enjoyed this post. Have not read McLau¬≠rin yet and just came across his name in the Har¬≠ry Crews bio. Excit¬≠ed to dive into it.

  2. Stephen McNeill says:

    I had the plea¬≠sure, no.‚Ķ. the hon¬≠or, of study¬≠ing under Tim and then becom¬≠ing his friend while tak¬≠ing his class in fic¬≠tion writ¬≠ing at NC State. I was an old¬≠er stu¬≠dent from a trou¬≠bled past, and that must have struck a chord with Tim. I asked to do an Inde¬≠pen¬≠dent Study with him in "Nov¬≠el Writ¬≠ing," and it was approved by the Eng¬≠lish depart¬≠ment, so over a semes¬≠ter I wrote my first book. Tim was so sup¬≠port¬≠ive. God I miss you, man. I real¬≠ly do. I nev¬≠er sent the thing out for any¬≠one to look at. Maybe one day I will. It will most def¬≠i¬≠nite¬≠ly be ded¬≠i¬≠cat¬≠ed to you.

  3. Carol McLaurin says:

    Thanks for help­ing to keep Tim's work alive. You may be inter­est­ed in an upcom­ing trib­ute to him in Pitts­boro NC. Come for a vis­it. Car­ol McLaurin

    Author Tim McLau¬≠rin will be remem¬≠bered in a sym¬≠po¬≠sium and con¬≠cert on Sun¬≠day, Novem¬≠ber 7th. View¬≠ing of Gary Hawkin‚Äôs ‚ÄúThe Rough South‚ÄĚ and rem¬≠i¬≠nis¬≠cences with Clyde Edger¬≠ton, Lee Smith, Hal Crowther, Jill McCorkle, Jake Mills, Bland Simp¬≠son, Mar¬≠vin Hunt, Jim Seay and a host of oth¬≠ers. McLau¬≠rin, who died from esophageal can¬≠cer in 2002, was a beloved and col¬≠or¬≠ful fig¬≠ure among North Carolina's lit¬≠er¬≠ary community.
    Novem¬≠ber 7, 2010
    3:00 pm
    The Barn at Fear¬≠ring¬≠ton Vil¬≠lage, Pitts¬≠boro, NC

  4. Anonymous says:

    I've read all of Tim McLaurin's books and I love them all. I went to sev­er­al of his book read­ings in Chapel Hill. One of his books, Woodrow's Trum­pet, dis­turbed me so much that I asked Tim why he end­ed it like he did. He said, "that was the only way I could end it". I under­stand what he meant but when I fin­ished that book I stayed awake all night. I used to see Tim around town and he was an incred­i­bly warm, kind human being ALWAYS. The last time I saw Tim he was at the gro­cery store buy­ing sup­plies for a par­ty. When I spoke to him he told me his can­cer was back but he said that he wasn't wor­ried about it.…. then he invit­ed me to his par­ty. Bye, sweet Tim.….. you are missed.

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