In this reading Tom Franklin talked about his best-selling novel “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter” and gave an insight into the background of this novel and the writing process. Published in 2010, Tom Franklin´s “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter” is a literary crime novel centered around two unsolved murders that connect past and present. The novel follows Silas Jones, a black constable in a small town in Mississippi, and Larry Ott, the white suspect in a decades-old, unsolved murder.
Tom Franklin started by telling some anecdotes from his own life and through this, the audience, who have read the novel, started noticing parallels to the events in “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter” and even to the protagonist, Larry Ott. For example, when Tom Franklin recounted an event from his own childhood where his father used to pick up a black family from the side of the road and drive them to their destination.
After telling his anecdotes, he began to read an excerpt from “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter” where Larry Ott´s father picks up Silas and his mom, who are black, from the side of the road. This is just one of the examples of him using events from his own life and incorporating them into this novel.
He then began to answer questions from the audience. Through these questions he could tell us his writing process with this novel and the struggles that came with it. Furthermore, he could tell us how he did the research for his novel by actually working with police officers and looking at existing cases. He answered every question with such care and detail that the audience really could feel the passion he has for the novel and for literature itself.
This insight will be beneficial for the A-levels on account of them having to write the English Abitur exam this year with “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter” being part of the “Sternchenthema”. This experience felt surreal in many ways but meeting Tom Franklin is something that will stay with the English Leistungskurse for many years to come.