“Good writing is rare enough. Storytelling is an even rarer skill. A genuinely comic vision is beyond price. The Ordways has all three.” —Time
On the annual graveyard-working day in Clarksville, Texas, families come from all over East Texas to pay respects to their loved ones. The Ordways are one such clan, and in this eloquent and original novel, our narrator recounts the story of how he and his kin arrived in this magical land where the South meets the West.
The tale begins with his great-grandfather, Thomas Ordway, who lost his sight at the Battle of Shiloh and vowed to quit Tennessee forever. He crossed the Red River into Texas and stopped on the edge of the featureless prairie, a landscape too mystifying even for a sightless man. Years later, the narrator’s grandfather, Sam Ordway, was forced to leave the forest behind when his three-year-old son, Ned, was kidnapped by a neighbor. Sam scoured the vast state of Texas in search of Ned but never found the boy. The mystery of what happened to him and what his long-hoped-for return might mean to the Ordways brings William Humphrey’s brilliant second novel to its rich and satisfying conclusion.
A masterful blend of comedy, tragedy, and history, The Ordways is great American fiction in the tradition of William Faulkner and Mark Twain.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of William Humphrey including rare photos form the author’s estate.