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Born and raised in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Speer Morgan is the author of five books. His first novel, published in 1979, was set in Arkansas and the Indian Territory during the late 1800s. Among his other four novels, three have been set in Arkansas and Oklahoma - one in 1894, another in 1934, and another in the 1980s."The Whipping Boy" (1994)was aided by an NEA Individual Fellowship in fiction. His latest novel, "The Freshour Cylinders"(1998), won Foreword Magazine's Silver Award for the best book of the year. It also won an American Book Award in 1999. Morgan teaches in the English Department at the University of Missouri where he has edited The Missouri Review for 30 years.