Frank Manley   The Cockfighter  
Frank Manley    
The Indian Way: a story

The Cockfighter: an excerpt

  Here's a book for the fans of Old Yeller and A River Runs Through It. The Cockfighter is the heartbreaking story of twelve-year-old Sonny and his champion fighting rooster named Lion. Sonny is caught in a tug-of-war between his father, who is trying to toughen Sonny up and turn him into a man, and his mother, who is desperately trying to prevent the impending loss of her little boy. Sonny's father raises cocks for the fight and tells Sonny that he will let him enter Lion in the next derby they attend. Lion has become the pet Sonny has always wanted, but these chickens are not pets, and Sonny is devastated by the events that transpire at the derby. His father offers no sympathy or comfort and Sonny's ultimate reaction makes for a shocking surprise ending.

Frank Manley's spare, incantatory prose is hypnotic, his characters tragic and real, and his dialogue unfailingly true. The Cockfighter is a fast and fierce tale of rites of passage, moral conflict, and rebellion that will resonate with readers far and wide, young and old.

In this issue of Bold Type, read a story by Frank Manley and an excerpt from his novel The Cockfighter.

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