Physical setting

The novel Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin is set in rural Mississippi in early September. The story takes place in a few close towns including Chabot, Fulsom, and Amos. Flashbacks also show moments from when Larry and Silas were 13 years old to the present day when they are 41, which places the time setting of the story from 1979 to 2007.

The title of the story further highlights the importance of placing the events in Mississippi. The words “crooked letter, crooked letter” are an allusion to how Southern children learn to pronounce the word Mississippi: “M-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-hunchback-hunchback-I”. This reference is easily understood by someone from the Southern United States, but might be missed by other readers.

Larry’s house is a central location of the story. It is described as “small, wood, painted white” (p. 67) with a raised foundation and railed front porch. Larry lives in his parents’ former house, which is likely the only house he has ever lived in. After his father dies and his mother is moved to a nursing home, it is shown th...

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