Paperback eBook



ISBN: 978-1-56512-783-8


In his first book with Algonquin, published in 1991, Nordan focused his magic and imagination on a boy’s utterly helpless love for his utterly hopeless father.

For Sugar Mecklin, growing up in the Delta town of Arrow Catcher, Mississippi (the setting for many of Nordan’s books), everything happens the summers when he turns ten, eleven, and twelve, around the same time his daddy tells him that “the Delta is filled up with death.” Sugar discovers that what his daddy says is true, but he also discovers singing mice in his mattress, hears Elvis on the Philco, and dreams of mermaids rising from the lake. And he discovers an endless supply of hope.


“Lordy, Lordy, can Lewis Nordan write! Horrible things happen, and horribly funny things, too, in the Delta town of Arrow Catcher, Miss.” —Los Angeles Times

“A bittersweet melody syncopated with sadness relieved by moments of all-too-human comedy . . . ‘There is great pain in all love,’ Sugar eventually concludes, ‘but we don’t care, it’s worth it.’ Mr. Nordan’s enchanting Music of the Swamp bears poignant witness to that truth.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Meet the author

nordan_lewis Photo Credit: Steve Wilson

Lewis Nordan was a professor of creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh for many years and the author of seven books of fiction and a memoir. His awards include three American Library Association Notable Book citations, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for fiction, the Mississippi Authors Award for fiction, and the Southern Book Critics Award for fiction. He died in 2012.