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In rural Illinois, two tenant farmers share much, finally too much, until jealously leads to murder and suicide. A tenuous friendship between lonely teenagers - the narrator, whose mother has died young, and Cletus Smith, the troubled witness to his parent's misery - is shattered.
William Maxwell was born in Illinois in 1908. He was the author of a distinguished body of work: six novels, three short story collections, an autobiographical memoir and a collection of literary essays and reviews. A New Yorker editor for forty years, he helped to shape the prose and careers of John Updike, John Cheever, John O'Hara and Eudora Welty. So Long, See You Tomorrow won the American Book Award, and he received the PEN/Malamud Award. He died in New York in 2000. Ann Patchett is the author of several novels including The Patron Saint of Liars, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Taft, which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, The Magician's Assistant, for which she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and Bel Canto, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Orange Prize, the Booksense Book of the Year Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her non-fiction book, Truth & Beauty, was a New York Times Bestseller and the winner of a Books for a Better Life Award. Ann was the editor for Best American Short Stories 2006. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages. Ann has written for many publications, including Harper's, Gourmet, The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, and The Washington Post. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.