Harry Crews was born in 1935, in Bacon County, Georgia. He has been a carnival barker, light-heavyweight boxer and a bartender. He left Georgia at the age of 18 to pull a hitch in the Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict. With the GI Bill he went to the University of Florida and upon graduation started to write, the only thing he'd ever wanted to do, and never looked back.
Crews has been described as "a dark chronicler of human vanity and folly," an artist in depicting "the world of the misbegotten, the freaks and misfits and malcontents in whose strange doings Crews is able to locate a genuine if quirky humanity" (Washington Post Book World). "Harry Crews has a talent all his own," remarked American novelist Norman Mailer of Crews's 1976 novel A Feast of Snakes. "He begins where James Dickey left off."
He has 21 titles: novels, collections of essays, a memoir and a play entitled Blood Issue, commissioned by and first produced at the Actors Theatre of Louisville and published by the University of Kentucky in a volume entitled Southern Playwrights. His most recent books are Body, Scar Lover, and The Knockout Artist. Two one hour documentaries have been made of this life and work, one by PBS entitled Rough South, and one by an independent producer, Film Noir, entitled Guilty As Charged.
Crews' 1978 memoir A Childhood: The Biography of a Place tells of his growing up in rural southern Georgia and of coming to terms with that culture as an adult. "It's easy to despise poor folks," said one reviewer of A Childhood in The New York Times Book Review. "A Childhood makes it more difficult. It raises almost to a level of heroism these people who seem of a different century…. A Childhood is not about a forgotten America, it is about a part of America that has rarely, except in books like this, been properly discovered."
He has been a columnist for Esquire magazine, and was a contributing editor for Fame magazine of New York City, and contributing editor for Southern magazine of Little Rock, Arkansas.He has had an NEA grant, an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and also won the award from the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines of America for the best piece of nonfiction published in any literary magazine in 1977. That essay, "One Bright February Morning," appeared in Shenandoah. He was on the staff of Breadloaf Writers Conference for six consecutive years, and has long since lost count of the number of universities and colleges at which he has lectured and read. Crews currently lives and works in Florida and will continue to write until the final curtain comes down. His work has been published in France, Italy, Holland, Israel, and England.
Harry Crews's works at the
Hall of Fame Library
2 by Crews. Northridge, CA: Lord John Press, 1984.
All We Need of Hell. New York: Perennial Library, 1988.
All We Need of Hell. New York: Harper & Row, 1987.
All We Need of Hell (Uncorrected proof). New York: Harper & Row, 1987.
Blood and grits. New York: Harper & Row, 1979.
Blood and grits. New York: Harper & Row, 1988.
Body. New York: Poseidon Press, 1990.
Car; a novel. New York: Morrow, 1972.
Car. London: Secker & Warburg, 1973.
Celebration : a novel. New York : Simon & Schuster, 1998.
Celebration : a novel (Uncorrected proof). New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998.
A Childhood, The Biography of a Place. New York: Harper & Row, 1978.
A Childhood: The Biography of a Place. London: Secker and Warburg, 1979.
A Childhood, The Biography of a Place. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1995.
Classic Crews : a Harry Crews Reader. New York: Poseidon Press, 1993.
The Enthusiast. Palaemon Press, 1981.
A Feast of Snakes. New York: Atheneum, 1976.
A Feast of Snakes. New York: Ballantine Books, 1978.
Florida Frenzy. Gainesville: University Presses of Florida, 1982.
Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews / edited by Erik Bledsoe. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1999.
The Gospel Singer. New York: Morrow, 1968.
The Gospel Singer; and, Where Does One Go When There's No Place Left to Go? London: Gorse, 1995.
The Gospel Singer. New York: Perennial Library, 1988.
The Gospel Singer. New York: Dell Pub. Co., 1969.
The Gypsy's Curse; a novel. New York: Knopf; [distributed by Random House] 1974.
The Gypsy's Curse: a novel. New York: Pocket Books, 1976.
The Hawk is Dying. New York: Knopf, 1973.
The Hawk is Dying. London : Secker & Warburg, 1974.
Karate is a Thing of the Spirit; a novel. New York: Morrow, 1971.
The Knockout Artist : a novel (Uncorrected proof). New York: Harper & Row, 1988.
The Knockout Artist. New York : Harper & Row, 1988.
Madonna at Ringside. Northridge : Lord John Press, 1991.
The Mulching of America : a novel. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.
The Mulching of America : a novel (Uncorrected proof). New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.
Naked in Garden Hills. New York, Morrow, 1969.
Scar Lover. New York : Poseidon Press, c1992.
Scar Lover. Advance uncorrected proofs. New York : Poseidon Press, 1992.
This Thing Don't Lead to Heaven. New York, Morrow, 1970.
Where Does One Go When There's No Place Left to Go? Los Angeles : Graham : Blood & Guts Press, 1998.