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A Large & Startling Figure

The Harry Crews Online Bibliography


Interviews

Over the last 30 years, Crews's development as a writer has been well-documented by interviews given to newspapers and magazines. Erik Bledsoe unearthed and gathered the best of those interviews in the 1999 anthology Getting Naked with Harry Crews.

While the interviews in print offer insights into Crews as a writer, three video documentaries made at the mid-point of his career reveal his charisma, mannerisms, and personality. Wayne Schowalter made the first documentary in 1983, a sobering glimpse of Crews filmed during his nine-year hiatus between novels. Two other documentaries followed in the 1990s, riding a resurgence of Crews's productivity and popularity.

The 1990s also saw the mainstream media take advantage of Crews's well-honed image as a hard-living literary he-man—the South's answer to Hunter S. Thompson and Charles Bukowski. Appearing on "The Dennis Miller Show" in 1992 and "The Late Late Show" with Tom Snyder in 1998, Crews was accorded the respect due to a literary lion but, with a measure of skepticism, courted as a sideshow curiosity.


"Harry Crews, Gainesville, Florida 1979."
Adams, Noah.
Washington DC: National Public Radio, 1979 May 10.
Cassette #790610.
Audio: 58 mins.

"Radio interview and profile." According to NPR' transcript service, tapes of this interview are unavailable.


"Writing is an Act of Discovery."
Aronson, David.
Alumni CLAS Notes.
University of Florida, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. (1992 Summer)
Pages 1, 10-12.

"I don't think it takes much perception, or very keen sensibilities, to see that it takes great courage—I know it's me saying this and what it makes me sound like, but I don't care—it takes great courage to look where you have to look, which is in yourself, in your experience, in your relationship with fellow beings, your relationship to the earth, to the spirit or to the first cause, or whatever—to look at them and make something of them. Writers spend all their time preoccupied with just the things that their fellow men and women spend their time trying to avoid thinking about."

"I felt there were times it was absolutely mandatory that the world be skewed, that I could no longer bear it dead-on, that it had to be twisted."

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"Harry Crews: An Interview."
Bellamy, J. D.
Fiction International 6-7 (1976)
Pages: 83-93.

Bellamy interviews a "tanned, wiry" Harry Crews at the faculty residence at Breadloaf in Vermont. Crews seems defensive about the criticism his novels have garnered for his creation of grotesque characters: freaks, they've been called, which Crews adamantly disputes, noting that his characters aren't able to hide their particular brand of abnormality they way most people can.

"I like to start with something that is obviously a world that nobody can quarrel with. There is the porch and there is the chair and here is a man and we're all happy, right? Then in a very slow kind of left-handed way, left-handed in the sense that you don't call attention to it, it just slides off the edge of the real world into a thing that can't possibly be true. Except it is true; at least, I think it is."

"I was in a shopping mall and I saw some karate freaks giving a demonstration and it really turned my head around good. I thought, 'God, that's fantastic.' As I stood there, I thought of it as a self-contained, self-justifying madness."

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"Harry Crews: Write About Life."
Bidisha.
Dazed & Confused 11 (1995 July).
Pages: 92, 93.

An intelligent analysis of Crews's work introduces this question & answer telephone interview published in the UK; includes a color-drenched photograph of a cyclopean Crews by Gillian Edelstein.


"Still Macho After All These Years."
Biondi, Joann.
Sunshine: The Magazine of South Florida (1991 June 9).
Pages: --.

Cover story, which includes photos of Crews at the local gym and at home working in front of his manual typewriter, finds Crews having recently completed an unnamed screenplay for Sean Penn. Biondi attends Crews's 7 o'clock 1011 writing class "My classes close quicker than any classes on campus, so I think they like me pretty good."

I can attest to the fact that during the late 1980s at the University of Florida, the line to register for classes outside the Creative Writing suite formed before daybreak, usually headed by the same group of individuals, semester after semester, intent on getting into Crews's section, which closed well before the mid-morning coffee break.

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews.
Bledsoe, Erik, editor.
Gainesville, FL: UP of Florida, 1999.

Check availability from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.


"Interview with Harry Crews."
Bledsoe, Erik.
Southern Quarterly 37.1 (1998).
Pages: 97-117.

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"An Interview with Harry Crews."
Bonetti, Kay.
Missouri Review 6.2 (1983 Winter).
Pages: 145-164.

Crews talks about the genesis to The Gospel Singer, meeting a famous gospel singer at his mother's house and thinking, "FREAK!" but then realizing, "Well, now if they're freaks, they couldn't exist without your mama and people like her. So if you're gonna call them freaks, you gotta call your moma a freak." Also, Crews talks about reading Frank Slaughter when he was 16, then how he looked him up in the phone book, found his number, and called him.

"Things have come down in my life that are pretty terrible and if I can get myself a book, man, I can get passed it. I can get past anything if I've got something to read. I've been reading all my life. As a matter of fact, people who do not read, I feel this great sympathy for them. I want to go up and hug them and say, 'Don't you, darling, realize what you're missing? Why aren't you reading?'"

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"Harry Crews: Working the Kinks Out."
Burt, Al.
The Miami Herald Lively Arts (1974 June 30).
Pages: 1G, 7G.

An exceptional interview conducted after the release of The Gypsy's Curse. Notes that Crews was the recent recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts award, and, two years prior to the interview, was awarded a grant from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Two photos. The first one of Crews seated, wearing a white button up shirt, mostly unbuttoned, its wide collars spread flat against his shoulders. The other photo of Crews, all background cut out, seated and speaking, the fingers of one hand, resting on his knee, hooked through the handle of an enameled tin cup.

Burt discusses Crews's plans for a future book, which, as described, would have had a basic story-structure very similar to Jim Harrison's memoir Wolf. Burt also documents Crews's use of technology, the portable tape-recorder, a device used by other writers such as Hunter S. Thompson and William S. Burroughs.

"The idea began last summer when Crews spent seven weeks walking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maryland, carrying along a photographer and a tape-recorder, collecting information and anecdotes . . . Crews tried to splice together his experiences on the trail with memories of his boyhood in Bacon County. But later, he decided that wouldn't work. Now, he plans to separate the two."

Also discussed is some version of Crews's novel The Enthusiast, which may or may not correspond to the version published in Florida Frenzy in 1982.

"I like to teach, see. That's the weird thing about it. I really do, I enjoy it. The students, they're honest, they'll run you up a tree. They won't take much phony stuff. I go in there and I teach a sensational class. Just get in there and just wing and talk and get em excited and get all . . . When I come out of the class, I think, well, buddy, you might can't write, but goddam, you sure can teach."

"I wrote another book called The Enthusiast which I really liked a lot, at least I liked it a lot while I was writing it. I suppose it came out of my life in a way. It was about a guy that just everything he got into, he made a passion of . . . But I never sent the damn thing off. Put it in a drawer. It just didn't work, finally. You know, you try to lie to yourself at first. It'll come back another time. The work is never wasted. Ten years from now, all that'll come back."

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"The Troubles with Harry."
Burt, Al.
Miami Herald (1978 December 31).
Pages: --.

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"Crewsing: An Interview with Harry Crews."
Campanaro, Andy.
Zelo 3.2 (1988).
Pages: 46-47, 52.


"Harry Crews: Goodbye Yellow Prick Road."
Coillard, Jean-Paul.
Rage 22 (1997 January).
Pages: 54-55.

Brief interview in this French music scene and culture magazine conducted during Crews's trip to France to promote his work being published there in translation; photo of Crews by Vincent Bouchard.


"Harry Crews: Writing on the Edge."
Carcaterra, Lorenzo.
Gallery 10.8 (August 1982).
Pages: 45, 46, 47, 70.

From "The Publisher's Page" [p. 6]: "One on Crews, one by Crews. Harry Crews, one of the South's 'bad' boys and possibly its best living writer, is well represented in this issue. In 'Harry Crews: Writing on the Edge," Lorenzo Carcaterra profiles the writer from Georgia, warts and all. 'Something Personal' is vintage Crews, an early short story that's remained unpublished till now. It's gritty, it's powerful, it's definitely 'personal.' And it packs a wallop. You won't forget it for some time to come—if ever. We're proud to publish it."

Added: 02-02-24.


Writing in the Southern Tradition: Interviews with Five Contemporary Authors.

Crowder, A. B.
Atlanta GA: Rodopi, 1990.
Pages: 79-115.

William Humphrey, Reynolds Price, Harry Crews, Robert Drake, David Madden.

Hardcover edition of this book available from Amazon Books.

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"The Curse of the Writing Class: Why Are So Many Writers Alcoholics?"
Dunham, Bob.
Saturday Review Magazine (1984 January-February).
Pages: 26-30.

Dunham runs down the usual list of writer-drinkers, all the dead ones. The only contemporary subject of the piece is the unapologetic Harry Crews, "a brilliant novelist in Hemingway's tradition."

"I'd get up in the morning and drink a pint of vodka while I showered and shaved, and then just ride the day on whiskey by controlled drinking. I could drink a bottle of booze, go to a dinner party and be perfectly civil. Of course, I often got out of control. But I've beaten that now."


"Harry Crews: Singing His Own Song."
Eisman, Chuck.
Quixote Quarterly 1.1 (Summer 1994).
Pages: 35-49.

Excellent first—and last?—issue of a South-Florida literary magazine. Includes fiction from: John Dufresne, Larry Brown, & Vicki Hendricks. Issue is dedicated to Charles Bukowski.


"Dark Cloud Follows Life of TV Tough-cop Blake."
Elber, Lynn. The Miami Herald (2001 May 12).
Pages: 4A.

Crews was interviewed for his reaction in this brief story about Robert Blake, actor in the 1970s TV series "Baretta," whose wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley, was murdered on May 4, 2001.

"To the novelist Harry Crews, who profiled Blake for Esquire magazine ["Television's Junkyard Dog" (October 1976)] in the mid-1970s, it was inevitable that the actor would end up a fallen star.

"'Whatever his devils were, they destroyed him long before he got into whatever he's into now,' Crews said.

"In interviews during the mid-990s, Blake said he took a self-imposed exile to deal with too much 'pills and booze' and the therapy-induced realization that he had been a victim of child abuse.

"For Blake, however, life's second act proved elusive.

"'He couldn't get work,' Crews said."

See also: "The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder" in Video.


"The Freedom to Act."
Elrod, Rodney.
New Letters 55.3 (1989 Spring).
Pages: 50-71.

Interview conducted by one of Crews's longtime friends (Crews dedicated The Knockout Artist to the Elrods). Among the usual questions about writing, Elrod also asks personal questions: Crews's relationships with women, the "scariest moment" of his life, and his thoughts on aging and death. Crews answers them with aplomb and conviction. A highly worthwhile interview.

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"Harry Crews."
Estrin, Eric.
The Miami Herald Tropic (1977 February 27).
Pages: 15, 30-31.

Interview conducted after publication of A Feast of Snakes. Crews discusses writing for magazines, including the Charles Bronson and Robert Blake interviews, and addresses questions about his public image.


"A Few Moments with Harry Crews."
Fishman, Charles.
Florida Magazine, Orlando Sentinel (1990 November 11).
Page: 6.

Brief interview conducted shortly after the release of Body at Crews's Gainesville residence. Crews was working on a screenplay for Sean Penn and had recently returned from an invitation to Penn's home, where he had "picked and sang all night" with an assortment of Hollywood types, including Crews Dean Stanton, Mare Winningham, Ed Harris, and Levon Helm.

"When I was your age, I could drink a quart and a half of vodka during the day, function with no problems, wake up clear as a bell. I haven't had a drink since the 11th of January. I don't intend to ever have another one . . . It was getting in the way of my work, that's all."

"It sounds like B.S., but I owe writing . . . more than I could ever repay it. It's given me something in the world very few people have. I love my work, I can't wait to get to it, and I don't ever want to quit. It's given my life focus, intensity, meaning."

Also published as "Harry Crews: Gritty Novelist Calls Sean Penn His Friend, Writing His Love, UF His Home" in The Orlando Sentinel [(Sunday, November 11, 1990): 6 (Florida)].


"Interview with Harry Crews: May 1972."
Foata, Anne.
Recherches Anglaises et Americaines 5 (1972).
Pages: 207-225.

Foata's introduction notes that Crews received a National Institute of Arts and Letters award in May of 1972. Foata also notes that Crews wrote the screenplays for Car and Naked in Garden Hills, which would be filmed by Frank Perry, director of David and Lisa and The Diary of a Mad Housewife.

Crews talks in detail about Jefferson Davis (This Thing Don't Lead to Heaven), Didymus (The Gospel Singer), Jack O'Boylan (Naked in Garden Hills), and the writer and teacher Andrew Lytle.

"As soon as something pleasant and cheerful and confectionary occurs to me, I'll write about it; but I can only write about whatever comes. And what has come this far has been a kind of blackness. People say that there is no love in much of the stuff that I write. I'm not sure that it is true; I hope it's not true. I think there is love; I just don't think there is love the way most people want to use the word."

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"The Power of Persuasion."
Garbarino, Steven.
Interview 23.2 (1993 February).
Pages: 140-141.

Celebrity quotes on polo, cuban cofee, and motorcycles-all great Florida attractions. About Daytona's Bike Week, Crews says, "that's just pussy and tattoos."


"Harry Crews: An Interview."
Graves, Tom.
Southern Exposure 7.2 (1979 Summer).
Pages: 152-153.

Small chunks of the Graves' 1979 interview with Crews at the University of Florida. Includes a photograph of Crews taken at the time of the interview. A short introduction about Andrew Lytle written by Bob Brinkmeyer appears on the facing page.

By special arrangement with Graves, the Crews portraits are available for purchase as high quality prints.


"Dead on with Harry Crews."
Graves, Tom.
Chouteau Review 4.2 (1980-81 Winter).
Pages: 62-78.

The majority of Graves' 1979 interview found publication in the Chouteau Review. Crews discusses Diane Arbus, rattlesnake roundups, Jerzy Kosinski, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, Crews's TV appearance, "maintained appearances" and other falsities.

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).

By special arrangement with Graves, the Crews portraits are available for purchase as high quality prints.


"Meat Eaters, Killers, and Suckers of Blood: The World According to Harry Crews."
Graves, Tom.
The Memphis Flyer (1992 October 22-28).
Pages: 12-13.

Written to coincide with Crews's visit to Memphis State University, where he appeared as part of the 1992-93 River City Writers Series. Crews appears on cover, tattooed and mohawked.

"The 'Meat Eaters' piece I did for The Memphis Flyer was an entirely new piece—an essay actually—in which I interviewed Crews again on the phone and incorporated some of the new quotes with some of the old ones from 1979 as well as some quotes I remembered from various conversations with him between 1979 and 1992." [Tom Graves, in correspondence]

"I think all my books are obviously funny, with the possible exception of the last one, A Childhood. It's not that I meant to put humor in them, it's just there."


Meat-eaters, Killers, and Suckers of Blood: An Afternoon with Harry Crews.

Graves, Tom.
Gainesville FL: Tom Graves, January 1979.
Audio: 90 mins.

Unpublished recording of the above Tom Graves interview with Crews.


"Life-Scarred and Weary of Battle, a Literary Guerrilla Calls Truce."
Green, Micehelle.
People Weekly 27 (1987 June 8).
Pages: 75-76, 78-80, 84.

Written after the release of Crews's novel All We Need of Hell, his first novel in ten years, Crews speaks of his desperate and determined efforts to write and publish novels again.


"Students who Made It and the Teachers who Made the Difference."
Hedegaard, Erik.
Rolling Stone 52 (1982 April 15).
Pages: 52, 57, 58.

Article celebrates the effect of teachers on seven individuals "who have distinguished themselves in their fields."

Describes Crews's student-teacher relationship with Andrew Lytle, who appeared one night at Crews's residence, dragged him to a bar outside the county line, and got him drunk, "the man's way of saying he'd accepted you."


"The Fierce & Funny World of Harry Crews."
Hiassen, Scott.
The Palm Beach Post (May 15, 1994).
Pages: 1J (Arts & Entertainment).


"Harry Crews: A Southern Thirst for Absolutes."
Homel, David.
Montreal Gazette (1990 March 31).
Page: K2.

Interview conducted at Marjorie Rawlings' estate in Cross Creek, Florida, while Crews was writing Body, "and even before publication, he has had four offers from producers for a film adaption." Crews talks about living and writing for a time in a cabin on the Rawlings' grounds, "Sometimes I think her tipsy ghost is still walking this road at night." Includes photo of Crews outside his Gainesville home.


"Small Pleasures: Authors Talk of their Motivation."
Hunter, Jerry C.
Writer's Digest 62 (1982 June).
Page: 30-32.

Five authors, including Erskine Caldwell, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Annie Dillard respond to the question, "How do you motivate yourself to write?" Crews's response is titled, "Stone Mystery." Article includes photo of Crews.


"Harry Crews: Part of an Interview."
Jeffrey, David K. & Donald R. Noble.
Black Warrior Review 5.2 (1979).
Page: 89-92.

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"Harry Crews: An Interview."
---. Southern Quarterly: A Journal of the Arts in the South 19.2 (1981).
Pages: 65-79.

A longer version of this interview also appears in the collection of essays, A Grit's Triumph.

"A Feast . . . was about five times as long as it is now. I wrote it all the way to the end, and I saw that I had done it wrong. I'd put it together wrong. So then I had to go back and do it again."

"If a man's got a place where he won't freeze to death when he puts his head down to go to sleep, and if he's got enough to eat, well then he's pretty much all right. When I lived out on the lake in Melrose, there was not a bed in the house. I slept on the floor and I wrote Gypsy's Curse sitting on two concrete blocks at a desk made out of a door."

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


The Christ-Haunted Landscape: Faith and Doubt in Southern Fiction "Interview."
Ketchin, Susan.
The Christ-Haunted Landscape: Faith and Doubt in Southern Fiction.
University of Mississippi Press, 1994.
Pages: 335-351.

Interview composed of a transcripted question and answer session following a previewing in Raleigh, North Carolina, of Gary Hakwins' documentary, The Rough South of Harry Crews, and then a personal interview, in which Ketchin finds, "a polite and engaging man who addressed each query with a searing intensity as if it were the most important question on earth." Much of the interview is directed towards an elevated discussion of the religious experience and the search for faith.

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).

See Ketchin ["The Writer as Shaman." (1994)] Criticism.

Check availability from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.


"Stories Told in Blood: Listening to Harry Crews."
Knipfel, Jim.
New York Press 11.16 (April 22 - May 5, 1998).
Pages: 5-7 ("Books and Publishing" supplement).

Long interview with Crews conducted after publication of Celebration. Full text of interview is featured in Interviews.


"Some of Us Do It Anyway: An Interview with Harry Crews."
Lytal, T. & Richard R. Russell.
Georgia Review 48.3 (1994 Fall).
Pages: 537-553.

The interview, which took place in October 1992 at Memphis State University, finds Crews wearing a mohawk and a new tattoo. Crews discusses Southern culture, "writerly constipation," women and feminism, and offers advice for those inclined to write fiction.

"If I hadn't gone in the Marine Corps, I wouldn't be a professr in the university; I'd be in the state prison because I was a bad actor and a bad boy. Just rage. Just sourceless fucking rage."

"I'd like for you to see this 5,000 word essay on violence [I did for] Playboy. I don't come off looking real good at all. Matter of fact, I come off looking pretty fucking pitiful. But it's the truth."

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"Harry Crews: Pen Packin' Old Boy."
Michaels, Rob.
Motorbooty 5 (1990 Winter).
Pages: 18, 19, 20, 21, 22.

Interview with Crews just after the publication of Body. Crews discusses his interest in sports and "sideshow-attraction-type characters."

"I've never finished any fucking book, including the one I just finished, where I didn't say, 'Well, son, you blew it again.' That's what led Graham Greene to say that the artist is doomed to perpetual failure. Conception is pristine and pure and has all manner of hope in it, but between conception and execution, something gets lost."

"I think all of us are looking for that which does not admit of bullshit . . . If you tell me you can bench press 450, hell, we'll load up the bar and put you under it. Either you can do it or you can't do it—you can't bullshit. Ultimately, sports are just about as close to what one would call the truth as it is possible to get in this world."

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"An Interview with Harry Crews."
Moore, Dinty W.
Associated Writing Programs Chronicle 24.4 (1992 February).
Pages: 1-4.

Interview takes place in a Miami hotel room during the time Crews was writing the completion of Scar Lover. Of note, Crews discusses the writing of A Childhood and the merit of the label "Southern novelist."

Includes excerpt from the then novel-in-progress, Scar Lover.

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"Harry Crews Plays with Pain."
Nuwer, Hank. Dynamic Years (1984 September-October).
Pages: 44-48.

Interview reprinted as "The Writer Who Plays with Pain: Harry Crews" in Hank Nuwer's Rendezvous with Contemporary Writers, his book of collected interviews (Pocatello ID: Idaho State UP, 1988. 55-67.). According to Nuwer, "The Crews interview . . . was done at Crews's bungalow and taped there." Nuwer adds that the three photos that accompany the interview were taken during a lecture Crews had given at a literary symposium at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga."

"Esquire called me up and asked me to write a column. And I said, 'I never wrote a column,' they said, 'We didn't ask you if you ever wrote a column; we asked you if you wanted to write one.' I told them I'd sign on for a year; I did it fourteen months. I did it fourteen months, and they didn't fire me, I quit."

"But the thing was, when they asked me to write the column, I said, 'What is it about? Is it about politics, or sports, or whatever?' And they said, 'No. Just whatever you want to write about.' Which, at the time, I thought was a great deal."

"When I first got out of the Marine Corps, I travelled with a circus for about six months, and it had a freakshow. One guy had a deformity in the middle of his forehead that looked just like an eye, so they billed him as Cyclops. And there was a woman with a beard—I don't mean just fuzz, I mean a black beard. They let me sleep in the back of the trailer, and I remember one morning seeing them alone together. I could cry right now because it was just so sweet. He was kissing her, and she was hugging him, and they were talking about what they were going to have for supper. Now, how is that being a freak? I think it's a man and a woman doing the best they can with what they got. That, incidentally, is my definition of fiction."

"At the time my head was shaved, I had a big fucking earring in this ear, and I weighed about one hundred and sixty pounds. And just looking for shit—just looking for it . . . If you wanted to go, I wanted to go with you."

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"The Making of the Writer."
Oney, Steve.
The New York Times Book Review (1978 December 24).
Pages: 3, 17.

Interview conducted for A Childhood. Crews discusses the Agrarians, including the late aristocrats, Tate, Brooks, and Ransome: "They all carry the vestiges of the Southern aristocracy. But I am the tenant farmer's son. I'm the one they were running out to get the mule when they wanted to go somewhere."

The interview's high point is when Crews discusses the dissection of Greene's novel and the novel he wrote as a result of it.

A review of A Childhood by Bob Sherrill also appears on this page.

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"Blue-Eyed Boy."
Rasche, Ruth Ellen.
University of Florida Today 17 (1992 November).
Pages: 10-13.

Cover photo of Crews taken by Gene Bednarek of Southlight Media.

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


Star Culture: Collected interviews from Dazed & Confused magazine "Harry Crews."
Star Culture: Collected interviews from Dazed & Confused magazine.
Bidisha. Mark Sanders and Jefferson Hack, editors.
Phaidon Press, 2000.
Pages: 21-23.

"Star Culture is a compilation of the best interviews and imagery from the Dazed & Confused archive, with a selection of new commissions especially for this book. Interviews range from Damien Hirst to Kate Moss, Keith Richards to Noam Chomsky, and include two-way celebrity interviews with musician Björk and composer Stockhausen and with icon Lou Reed and writer Paul Auster, among others. This book provides a definitive insight into modern style culture." [From the publisher's Web site]


"Harry Crews and Things that Swim in the Night."
Ring, Kevin.
Beat Scene 22 (1995).
Pages: 20-23.

Brief interview and overview of Crews and his work in Beat Scene, a magazine otherwise devoted to Beat literature and Charles Bukowski. Ring asks: "What do you make of this 'cult' thing that seems to surround you? Would you exchange it for more maintsream acceptance?" Crews replies: "Cult, did you say? I don't give a rat's ass for the word cult or for the word mainstream." When asked what is he writing now, Crews replies, "I have a book coming out in '95 called The Mulching of America. I am deep into another book called Things that Swim in the Night."


"Everything is Optimism, Beautiful and Painless: A Conversation with Harry Crews."
Sauve, Damon.
Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews.
Erik Bledsoe, editor.
UP of Florida, 1999.
Pages: 315-330.

My own interview with Crews was conducted in February 1996 and published in Erik Bledsoe's second Crews project. A slightly longer, unedited version of the interview is available on this Web site. I attribute my diminished sense of hearing to the lengthy process of transcribing our barely barely audible voices off four cassettes and a poorly-placed mini-tape recorder. Next time I'll bring a microphone. But it was a fabulous day.

Check availability from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.


"Still in the Game: On the Straight and Narrow with Writer Harry Crews."
Schmich, Mary T.
Atlanta Journal and Constitution (1985 January 27).
Pages: M7+.

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"Best Selling Author Makes Time to Teach."
Sewell, Dan.
Associated Press (1991 May 5).
Pages: --.

Sewell attends Crews's 7 o'clock Creative Writing 3110 class at the University of Florida. Sewell lists several of Crews's responses to his students' work, among them: "I read this [story] sitting there at home with my dog, and I howled. I let her read it, then she howled, too."


"Book Beat: Audio Interview with Harry Crews."
Swaim, Don.
New York, NY: CBS Radio (WCBS-AM), 1990.
Audio: 36 mins.

The complete, uncut audio version of Swaim's interview with Crews is available online at Wired for Books.


"Harry Crews."
Summer, Bob.
Publisher's Weekly (1988 April 15).
Pages: 64-65.

Interview taken at the publication of The Knockout Artist.


"Harry Crews: Literary Terminator."
Unsworth, Cathi.
Purr 4.4 (1995 Spring).
Pages: 56-58, 60.

UK culture & music scene magazine.

"In the introduction of Blues for Mister Charlie, the Charlie being the white man, [James Baldwin] said, "No man is a villian in his own heart."

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"Crews Goes Cruising for a Bruising."
Voboril, Mary.
The Miami Herald Living Today (1987 June 28).
Pages: 1G.

Less an interview than a blow-by-blow account of Crews's day spent waiting for a manuscript of The Knockout Artist to come back from the typist. A long, startling and unapologetic narrative of Crews's drinking: "He is helped out of the restaurant."

In a later interview, Crews disparagingly refers to an interviewer who "'went out of her way' to write about his refrigerator." The Voboril interview includes such a description.

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"An Interview with Harry Crews."
Walsh, William.
Pembroke Magazine 22 (1990).
Pages: 121-129.

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


Speak So I Shall Know Thee: Interviews with Southern Writers Speak So I Shall Know Thee: Interviews with Southern Writers.
Walsh, William J.
Jefferson NC: McFarland, 1990.
Pages: 92-101.

Walsh's interview, conducted in January of 1988, just before the publication of The Knockout Artist, was originally published in Pembroke Magazine, out of Pembroke, North Carolina, as "An Interview with Harry Crews" [Pembroke Magazine 22 (1990): 121-129].

In the Preface, Walsh offers his motivation for conducting the interviews, which included conversations with Doris Betts, Fred Chappel, James Dickey, Lee Smith and others. Walsh writes, "I had to discover, by exploration, through raising questions and listening to answers, how to become a writer-how one goes from thinking about being a writer to getting to whatever place there is so you can write." As a result, many of Walsh's questions aim at Crews's early writing efforts.

Sitting in on his first class with Andrew Lytle, Crews says, "That was the first glimmer, the first notion of how truly ignorant I was of what I was trying to do and how much I had to learn if I was ever to write."

Crews also discusses his efforts to dissect Graham Greene's novel The End of the Affair, writing exercise and pattern for an early, never published novel. Crews says, "It was just a thrashing around, struggling to see if I could find something that would help me. What it did was make me read a book very, very closely, and that can only help."

Paperback edition of this book available from Amazon Books.


"Arguments Over an Open Wound: An Interview with Harry Crews."
Watson, Sterling.
Prairie Schooner 48.1 (1974 Spring).
Pages: 60-74.

Revealing conversation between Harry Crews and his one-time apprentice, Sterling Watson. After a beer and some pool at a bar in Melrose, Florida, the two return to Crews's home to talk literary. Crews discusses his plans to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Vermont.

Of some note, a central character, Eldon Odom, in Watson's second novel, The Calling, published in 1986, bears a remarkable resemblance to Crews, who, unfortunately, has expressed great consternation at Watson's portrayal. Crews's disappointment may have to do with the writing, which lacks the power of Watson's first novel, Weep No More My Brother. Watson's prose is often timid, as though self-conscious and guilt-ridden, burdened by the load of Crews's imminent disapproval. His most recent novel, Deadly Sweet, on the other hand, is consummately Crewsian in plot and character development, and Watson's narrative, threading multiple points of view, is as complex and successful as any Crews has written.

"I'm just saying that all those things which idntified the South—a kind of loyalty to blood, and a suspicion of the outsider, and a nurturing of familar things, and a rejection of unfamilar things—have all broken down. Because of mobility, television, and affluence, people simply can't stay alive in the tiny pockets of labor on farms any longer."

"I wrote fifteen years without any approval at all. I was rejected by everybody in the country and nobody ever mentioned anything about talent in the letters they wrote back to me. In the form of rejection slips, nobody ever said a word about talent."

Excerpts of this interview are featured in David Haward Bain's history of the Breadloaf Conference, Whose Woods These Are [see Bain (1993) Portraits].

Reprinted in Bledsoe Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews (1999).


"Harry Crews of Bacon County."
White, Dale Andrew.
Encounters with Authors. Ellenton FL: Twin Rivers Press, 1989.
Pages: 2-5.

This spiral-bound collection includes numerous interviews, many of them published in local or state magazines and newspapers, with writers living in Florida; notable interviews with Tennessee Williams, Frank Slaughter, Andre Norton, Richard Eberhart, and Larry McMurtry.

The interview with Crews, originally published in Florida West (August 12-18 1979: 16), mentions that all novels to A Feast of Snakes were under option at the time by film producers. Crews discusses a play, untitled and as yet unpublished, about, "an impoverished writer who is robbed by two black men," who soon learn, "they have more things in common than differences."

The paper cover includes a photo of Crews, with earring.

Encounters with Authors is available from Twin Rivers Press, PO Box 119, Ellenton FL 34222. Price $5.00.



 
A Large & Startling Figure: The Harry Crews Online Bibliography
www.harrycrews.org/Personal/Interviews/index.html
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