Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter


This study guide will help you analyze the novel Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (2010) by Tom Franklin. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective. The quotes from this study guide are taken from the 2014 edition published by Pan Macmillan.

Tom Franklin (b. 1963) is an American writer of crime, mystery, and Southern fiction. He is an associate professor at the University of Mississippi and has published four novels and one short story collection. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (2010) is his most acclaimed novel and has won several literary awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award.


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Social setting

The social setting of the novel explores racism, particularly during Larry and Silas’s adolescence, in the 90s. For example, as a child, Larry shows how he views the black boys in his class as different to him, and he does not interact with them: 

He was terrified of black kids. The fall after the summer he turned eleven he had entered the seventh grade. Recent redistricting of county schools had removed him from the public school in Fulsom, and forced him to go to the Chabot school, where 80 percent of the student population (and a lot of the teachers and the vice principal) were black […] (p. 40)

Larry also mentions that even though the schools are no longer segregated by race, the churches still are (p. 51). . This shows that the society Larry exists in is...

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Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

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