Byline: Stephen Goode, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
A feral kitten opens Larry Brown's new novel, "The Rabbit Factory." It's "wild and skinny" and no one's pet, dodging
traffic in Memphis, Tenn. At the end of the book, the kitten's has a home and well on the way to being as tame as any cat can be.
In between, the very talented Mr. Brown, author of such well-received novels as "Fay" and the powerful "Father and Son," tells several stories, seamlessly weaving together the lives of a number of characters who often don't know one another and won't meet by the book's end.
What they have in common is that they live in Memphis or somewhere in Mississippi, that they come from small Southern towns or dirt farms and that they're poor, or at least have been and don't ever care to be so again.
There's the now-old Arthur, for instance, and his wife Helen, a generation younger than her husband and a big-time boozer who steps out on her husband, but for whom Arthur hopes to capture the kitten to take her mind off drink. They haven't gotten along for some time.
Anjalee, another character, turns tricks for a living, usually meeting her johns at Fifi's Cabaret, but is sharp-as-a-tack and knows there's a better life for her somewhere. Anjalee is fairly normal and blessed with common sense.
That's not true of some of Mr. Brown's other creations, for whom normality is foreign. It's ex-con Domino D'Alamo's job, for …