Michael Farris Smith’s fourth novel, “The Fighter,” will be released this month. The author will sign books and present a talk at the Rosenzweig Arts Center from 5:30-7 p.m. March 26. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
March 3, 2018 9:53:14 PM
Following his highly regarded "Desperation Road" in 2017, Michael Farris Smith, associate professor of English at Mississippi University for Women, has a forthcoming novel scheduled for March release and already receiving advance rave reviews.
"The Fighter," set in the Mississippi Delta, has earned a starred review from Kirkus Reviews, which observed that "Smith is a gifted storyteller who parses battered dreams and the legacies of abandonment with a harsh realism that is both saddening and engaging."
Smith's fourth novel, "The Fighter" follows the story of Jack Boucher, a down-and-out cage fighter with loan sharks fast on his trail. The plot, says Publisher's Weekly, " ... moves swiftly toward an inevitable but still surprising climax."
The winner of the 2014 Mississippi Author Award for Fiction, Smith also has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and his essays have appeared in, among others, The New York Times, Catfish Alley and Writer's Bone.
With recent successes, he soon will embark on book tours that will take him to international locations that include the Adelaide Festival in Australia and the Quais du Polar Festival in Lyon, France. In the latter country, "Desperation Road" was nominated for a Grand Prix de Lectrices by Elle magazine. His visit to France is arranged by the French press Sonatine Editions. His Australia appearance is arranged by his United Kingdom publisher, No Exit Press.
Closer to home, Smith will make appearances in locations ranging from Jackson and Greenwood in his home state to Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, and Ashville, North Carolina. His Columbus signing and talk will be March 26, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Rosenzweig Arts Center.
Smith currently is at work on his fifth novel, tentatively titled "Blackwood" and set in the north Mississippi hill country. His U.S. publisher is Little, Brown and Co.