Friday, October 23, 2009

Honey in the Horn

Finished Honey in the Horn by Harold Lenoir Davis. It won the Pulitzer in 1936. Set in Oregon in the early 20th century, it's the story of a young man who comes of age quickly amidst harsh conditions and considerable danger. In a way the entire story is based on a series of misconceptions which are not cleared up until the very end. I would not classify it as a mystery, but the suspense gives it a similar feel. Like other Pulitizer winners of the time it documents tragic events, but in a different way. Books like Lamb in His Bosom and Now in November tell much the same type of story but with prose that is deeply poetic. Honey in the Horn is told with a wry voice and the tone of tall tales. It's not clear who the narrator is, but the voice is one of unrelenting candidness. No group is safe from its criticism. It's comments concerning local Native American groups are particularly acidic. Regardless of that, many of the descriptions had me chortling.

Aside from the Pulitzer, Honey in the Horn won The Harper Prize for Best First Novel of 1935. Davis wrote several other novels and was a poet as well.

No comments: