On Air
Open In Popup
MPR News

An author who starts where most others end

Share story

'The Fighter' by Michael Farris Smith
'The Fighter' by Michael Farris Smith
Courtesy of publisher

Every week, The Thread checks in with booksellers around the country about their favorite books of the moment. This week, we spoke with Steve Iwanski from Turnrow Book Co. in Greenwood, Miss.

Steve Iwanski has been a fan of Michael Farris Smith since he picked up Smith's novel "Rivers" in 2013.

"Rivers" unfolds in a flooded town, besieged by hurricanes — "which seems eerily predictive now," Iwanski says. 

There's a singular style to Smith's writing, as well.

"Whereas other writers have a beginning, middle and end, Smith's books are all end. They start where a lot of books would have their climax." 

Iwanski is excited about Smith's latest, "The Fighter," which is set in the Mississippi Delta.

"You've got a down-on-his-luck, beat-up old prize fighter, who loses $12,000 that he needed to pay off his ruthless boss that sets up these fights."

"Backed into a corner, running out of options, his body deteriorating, he reaches out with one desperate last attempt to settle things and save the one woman who was ever family to him. So it's gritty, it's dark, but there's a slight glimmer of redemption for him and for the other characters."

The Fighter The Fighter