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About the Author: Thomas Fox Averill

An O. Henry Award story writer, Thomas Fox Averill is Writer-in-Residence at Washburn University of Topeka, KS. His novel, rode, published by the University of New Mexico Press, was named Outstanding Western Novel of 2011 as part of the Western Heritage Awards. His recent work, "Garden Plots," consists of poems, meditations, and short-short stories about gardens, gardeners, garden design, plants, and the human relationship to nature. They can be found on his website. His most recent novel is A Carol Dickens Christmas, published by the University of New Mexico Press in 2014.

Previous novels are Secrets of the Tsil Café, and The Slow Air of Ewan MacPherson. His story collections are Ordinary Genius (University of Nebraska Press) and Seeing Mona Naked (Watermark Books).


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Goodreads rating: 3.81

Hardcover, Published in Aug 2011 by University of New Mexico Press

ISBN10: 0826350291 | ISBN13: 9780826350299

Page count: 206

When Thomas Fox Averill first heard Jimmy Driftwood's ballad 'Tennessee Stud,' he found the song hauntingly compelling. As he began to imagine the story behind the lyrics, he set out to research the song s history--a tale from 'along about eighteen and twenty-five' of the legendary exploits of the greatest horse that ever lived, the 'Tennessee Stud,' and his owner.

Traveling the same route the song chronicles, from Tennessee into Arkansas, through Texas and into Mexico, Averill visited racetracks, Spanish missions, historical museums, a living history farm, and national parks, inventing characters of his own along the way. His novel captures the spirit of the ballad while telling the story of Robert Johnson, a man who holds love in his heart though adventure rules his time. Pursued by a bounty hunter, Indians, and his conscience, Johnson and his horse are tested, strengthened, and made resolute.

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