Hal Crowther is a critic and essayist. His latest book, An Infuriating American: The Incendiary Arts of H.L. Mencken, was published last year by the University of Iowa Press. His essays have been published in many anthologies, including Novello: Ten Years of Great American Writing (2000). "Dealer's Choice," Crowther's column on southern letters and culture, has been featured in The Oxford American since 1994.