I first read Donald Harington's novel "The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks" in 1980, five years after it had been published. I was in a corporate speechwriting group, and one of our number absolutely adored the book, and insisted that all of us read it. I did, and I loved it. By 1980, it was already out of print, but I found a used copy in a bookstore in New York City -- a first edition that cost me all of $2.50 (and it had been sold or given away by the Teaneck. N.J., Public Library).
The novel is the story of six generations of the Ingledew family, who founded Stay More, Ark., and it is one huge comedy. Harington published several novels, and then he caught on. His early novels were reprinted in paperback. In his later years, he taught at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and he kept writing about Stay More.
This morning, there was a notice in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he had died, with a URL link to the book editor's blog. He was 73 and had been suffering from cancer.
He'd been nicknamed the "Faulkner of the Ozarks." I'd have to think about that for a while beofre I agreed, but this I can say: I loved his books.