It may sound pretty outrageous–kidnapping, pedophilia, skeletons in outhouses, fornication with ghosts, narration by hound dogs and bobcats–but Donald Harington’s 12th novel, With, will surprise and delight you. Harington hails from the Ozarks and, in the tradition of William Faulkner and his invented Yoknapatawpha County, writes about a fictional backwater town called Stay More, Arkansas. . . [Harington] never falters, and you never doubt him for a second.
–Becky Ohlsen’s 2004 review of With by Donald Harington
As a native Arkansan, I am saddened by Saturday’s loss of one of my state’s greatest novelists. Donald Harington wrote 15 novels, all but one of which took place in Stay More, a fictional town in Newton County, Arkansas.
In an obituary in the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette, poet Miller Williams said: “Arkansas is going to be less than it was now that he’s gone. . . His presence made us feel that being here mattered. He made everything we were around seem significant and he kept alive for us things that we would have let slip away.”
Harington was 73. He won the Robert Penn Warren Award for fiction and was inducted into the Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame for his mystical, funny novels about life in the Ozarks.