Mark Childress was born in Alabama, grew up in the Midwest and the South, and was graduated from the University of Alabama. His articles and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Times Literary Supplement, Southern Living, and the Birmingham News, among other publications. He is the author of three children's books and four novels: A World Made of Fire, V for Victor, Tender, and Crazy in Alabama. He lives in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.
Tupelo, Mississippi's Leroy Kirby spends his early years in poverty as his parents move from place to place, one step ahead of the landlord's wrath, in search of work. His only joy lies in a mutually adoring relationship with his mother and the music that feeds his soul. A county fair talent show, his own guitar, and a determination to be famous leads to a recording contract with an obscure local company; the subsequent refinement of his sexy bad boy image brings him a phenomenal success the likes of which the entertainment world may never see again. Few readers will miss the parallels with another guitar-playing truck driver whose military induction became a media event and spelled heartache for the country's female population, but this is no mere roman a clef . The author of A World Made of Fire ( LJ 10/15/84) and V for Victor ( LJ 12/1/88) has written a realistic, moving account of the early days of rock `n' roll.--Judith A. Gifford, Salve Regina Coll. Lib., Newport, R.I.