Hal Crowther is a critic and essayist who lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina. He is the author of An Infuriating American: The Incendiary Arts of H.L. Mencken, (University of Iowa Press), and four collections of essays. His most recent collection, Gather at the River, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle prize in criticism. He is also the author of Unarmed But Dangerous, for which Kirkpatrick Sale praised him as “the best essayist working in journalism today,” and Cathedrals of Kudzu: A Personal Landscape of the South, winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award for commentary and the Fellowship Prize from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Another collection of essays, Freedom Fighters and Hellraisers: A Gallery of Memorable Southerners, will be published by Blair Press in October. —— Crowther is a former screenwriter, a newsmagazine editor for both Time and Newsweek, and a syndicated columnist whose columns won the Baltimore Sun’s H.L. Mencken Writing Award in 1992 and the American Association of Newsweeklies prize for commentary in 1998, shared with Nat Hentoff of the Village Voice. For his essays on Southern culture and letters for The Oxford American, he was a finalist for a National Magazine Award in 2003. Crowther’s essays have been published in many magazines and newspapers, from Granta to the New York Times, and included in many anthologies, including the 2014 Pushcart Prize volume for “The Joys of Obsolescence.” He is married to the novelist Lee Smith.