Snow and Straw

Snow and Straw coverIn Snow and Straw, Daugherty braids together fiction and biography, presenting three novellas that offer fictionalized accounts of the lives of very disparate writers: John Howard Griffin, Jack Elliott Myers, and Anna Akhmatova. What connects their stories – aside from Daugherty’s mastery of language and narrative – is the insight they offer into the writing life. All three of his subjects, along with a wide cast of other characters real and imagined who populate their stories (including, in the Griffin account, a vivid portrait of Thomas Merton), are human, all too human, and Daugherty grants them their flaws along with their achievements – suggesting, in the process, that it may not be possible to separate the two. He also demonstrates, compellingly, that sometimes it is fiction that conveys the greatest truths.