Michael Farris Smith launches new book at Off Square

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Oxford author Michael Farris Smith will return to Off Square Books on Courthouse Square, Tuesday, April 25, at 5:30 p.m. for an event celebrating his latest novel, “Salvage This World.”

The widely acclaimed local novelist is thrilled about the release, which is free and open to the public, partly because he had to cancel two book tours due to the pandemic.  “I am truly excited to get started again here in my hometown.  Having a book launch event at Off Square Books will always be something special to me,” Smith said.  

“Salvage This World” is somewhat of a prequel, echoing another, equally gritty novel, Smith’s popular 2013 release “Rivers,” set on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in a parallel modern world teetering on the verge of apocalypse.

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“I always thought I would return again somehow to the landscape of ‘Rivers,” said Smith, “but I also thought I’d do it indirectly and not so much as a sequel or extension of that story.  When I started ‘Salvage This World,’ it had the feeling of being that time leading up to the abandonment of the Gulf Coast, but not quite there yet.  I knew then this was going to be that journey back toward it.  And I also realized that what we see in STW is very close to what we see now.”

One of the foremost craftsmen today in the Southern noir genre, Smith has already received praise on what’s been called “a ‘riveting’ epic,” by National Book Award-nominated author, Laird Hunt.

Smith’s gripping 2018 novel, “The Fighter,” was just released as a movie called “Rumble Through the Dark,” which stars Bella Thorne and Aaron Eckhart.