William Humphrey (1924–1997) was born in Clarksville, Texas. Neither of his parents went to school beyond the fifth grade, and during the height of the Great Depression his father hunted in the snake-infested swamplands of the Sulphur River to help feed the family. Humphrey left Clarksville at age thirteen and did not return for thirty-two years. By then he was the internationally acclaimed author of two extraordinary novels set in his hometown: Home from the Hill, a National Book Award finalist that became an MGM film starring Robert Mitchum, and its follow-up, The Ordways, which the New York Times called “exhilaratingly successful.” Eleven highly praised works of fiction and nonfiction followed, including Farther Off from Heaven, a memoir about Humphrey’s East Texas boyhood and his father’s tragic death in an automobile accident; The Spawning Run and My Moby Dick, two delightful accounts of the joys and travails of fly fishing; and No Resting Place, a novel about the forced removal of the Cherokee nation along the Trail of Tears. A longtime professor of English and writing at Bard College and other schools, Humphrey was the recipient of awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Texas Institute of Arts and Letters.