Tom Ashbrook recently sat down with Jon Clinch, author of the new novel Finn. The novel covers in great detail an aspect of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that Mark Twain focused on only glancingly, the story of Pap, Huck's father. In Clinch's telling Pap comes from fairly noble beginnings and though he is a virulent racist he has a child with (and perhaps even loves) a stolen slave. As you might have guessed this slave, Mary, is Huck Finn's mother, which adds an interesting dynamic to his relationship with Jim. Now, regardless of Twain's own designs of Pap's backstory, what we have in the original text is a fairly broad outline of a drunk, racist, evil father and so Clinch had quite a bit of room to work with. I applaud him for attempting to flesh out one of the great villains of American literature, and for doing it in the form of a dark, by some accounts disturbed, novel. I am fascinated by this book. I want to read this book. But first, I must re-vist the original text. Should be fun.
Los Angeles Times Finn review
Washington Post Finn review
Also stopping by On Point with Tom Ashbrook this week, Clive James.