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on January 27, 2001
Lynda Berry -- like Carson McCullers, Dorothy Allison and Earl Thompson -- writes brilliantly about the world of cast-off and broken children. [read her "The Freddie Stories" and "Cruddy" to see this world at its most tragic and beautiful.] But The! Great! MARLYS! is the sainted warrior of these damaged kids. It is through Marlys that Berry voices the finest of herself: her joy and genius and innocence. Marlys is the classic resiliant child and a beacon for kids who grow up with four strikes against them. She is one of the most heroic figures I have found in fiction.