Christopher Beha

  • The Sacred and the Mundane

    In 1942, the literary quarterly Accent accepted James Farl Powers’s short story “He Don’t Plant Cotton,” his first published fiction. Powers was working then for a wholesale book company in Chicago, having dropped out of Northwestern because he couldn’t afford tuition. He wrote his editor that he hoped to quit his job, to “get away and, yes, you guessed it, Write.”

    By the time Accent published his second story—the classic “Lions, Harts, Leaping Does,” an astonishing achievement for a twenty-five-year-old author—Powers was behind bars. Having fallen in with a group of Catholic pacifists, he