De Amerikaanse schrijver Smith Henderson werd geboren op 3 januari 1954 in Montana. Henderson heeft gewerkt als maatschappelijk werker en gevangenisbewaker, evenals voor een reclamebureau en leeft nu als schrijver in Los Angeles. Voor zijn korte verhalen, ontving hij diverse prijzen, waaronder de PEN Emerging Writers Award 2011. Zijn eerste roman “Montana” zorgde op de literatuurpagina’s in Amerika voor groot enthousiasme. Het boek werd aanbevolen in een aantal kranten als “Best Books of the Year”, het won de Montana Book Award in 2014 en kwam op verschillende shortlists.
Uit:Fourth of July Creek
“The cop flicked his cigarette to the dirt-and-gravel road in front of the house, and touched back his hat over his hairline as the social worker drove up in a dusty Toyota Corolla. Through the dirty window, he spotted some blond hair falling, and he hiked in his gut, hoping that the woman in there would be something to have a look at. Which is to say he did not expect what got out: a guy in his late twenties, maybe thirty, pulling on a denim coat against the cold morning air blowing down the mountain, ducking back into the car for a moment, reemerging with paperwork. His brown corduroy pants faded out over his skinny ass, the knees too. He pulled that long hair behind his ears with his free hand and sauntered over.
“Name’s Pete,” the social worker said, tucking the clipboard and manila folder under his arm, shaking the cop’s hand. “We’re usually women,” he added, smiling with an openness that put the cop at ill ease.
The cop just replied with his own name-“Eugene”-took back his hand, and coughed into his fist. The social worker pointed at the cop’s badge with his chin, a seven-pointed nickel star with MONTANA chased inside it, mountains on the left, plains on the right, a sun, a river.
“Lookit mine,” Pete said, pulling out a flimsy laminate from his wallet. “I keep telling them I need a badge that don’t look like it came out of a damn cereal box.”
The cop didn’t have a ready opinion about that. He burnished a smudge off his own shield with a plump red thumb and turned toward the house. It abutted a steep hill and was poorly maintained, if at all. Peeling paint, a porch swing dangling from one rusting chain, a missing Windowpane taped over with torn cardboard. Couch cushions, half a blow-dryer, some lengths of phone cable, a plastic colander, and broken crockery littered the yard. Pieces of clothing slung up in the cedar shrubs like crude scarecrows, and the grass erupted in tall disordered bunches, stalks scarecrows, and the grass erupted in tall disordered bunches, stalks shooting through the warped porch boards, at places Window-high. The screen door hung open behind Where the mother and her son sat.
“Shit,” Pete said. “You had to cuff them.”
“That or they’s gonna kill each other.”
Smith Henderson (Montana, 3 januari 1954)