Tom Franklin was born and raised in Dickinson, Ala. He began writing by creating his own comic books and writing stories inspired by the Tarzan and Conan the Barbarian books. His family moved to Mobile after he graduated from high school. Franklin attended the University of South Alabama and graduated with a BA in English. He supported himself during that period by working in a hospital morgue, a sandblasting grit factory, and a chemical plant. Franklin later attended the University of Arkansas where he earned an MFA in 1998. He taught briefly at the University of South Alabama.
Franklin’s collection of short stories, Poachers, was published in 1999. His publication contract for Poachers required him to write a novel also. Hell at the Breech, a fictionalized version of the Mitcham War of Clarke County, Ala., was published in 2003. Franklin has held the Philip Roth Residency in Creative Writing at Bucknell University and has been Writer-in-Residence at Knox College, the John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at University of Mississippi, and the Tennessee Williams Fellow at University of the South. Franklin has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a residency at the MacDowell Colony. Currently, he is Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. Franklin is married to the poet Beth Ann Fennelly and lives with his family in Oxford, Miss.
Tom Franklin’s stories are dark and often violent but sometimes humorous and poignant. They feature working-class characters and are set in southern Alabama.
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Photo by Maude Schuyler Clay; courtesy of William Morrow/HarperCollins.
Last updated on May 30, 2008.