Don't touch the Channel Master

In his memoir "Somehow Form a Family," Tony Earley recounts the arrival of color television in his family home and with it the invasion of "The Brady Bunch."

Published May 22, 2001 8:00AM (EDT)

Tony Earley was selected by Granta as one of today's best young writers, the New Yorker featured him in its best young fiction writers issue and the New York Times called "Jim the Boy," his first novel, "a radiant, knowing, pitch-perfect parable of childhood." He is also the author of a collection of short stories, "Here We Are in Paradise." Earley teaches writing at Vanderbilt University.

Tony Earley's view of the world is from the edge, at the cusp. In this collection of personal essays he stands with one foot in the rural mountains and the other in the Brady Bunch's split-level; he's neither an adherent to the fundamentalist Christianity of his boyhood nor an unbeliever; and he's discovering how hard it is to find your place in the world without letting go of all you came from.

In a deceptively simple prose style, Earley confronts the big issues -- God, death, civilization, family, his own clinical depression. He has clearly lost patience with irony, for his is a journey from faith, through disbelief, and into a new faith -- and a new family.

Listen to the author read excerpts from "Somehow Form a Family," courtesy of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

By Read by Tony Earley

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