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While studying law at the University of Virginia, aspiring writer Martin Clark boldly trailed novelist Rita Mae Brown to her home and slipped a manuscript and a bottle of Scotch into her mailbox, hoping for suggestions. Her painful response implied that Clark had more chutzpah than literary talent. Eighteen yeas later, Clark--now a Virginia circuit court judge--published his first novel, The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living (pictured). The book, named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year for 2000, introduces Evers Wheeling, a disgruntled small-town North Carolina judge, who spends most of his free time smoking pot in his brother's mobile home. The story takes off as Evers meets and accepts a bribe from a mysterious car saleswoman, and is thrust into a tale that is part treasure hunt, part legal thriller. Comparing Clark to Lewis Nordan and T.R. Pearson, The New York Times praised Clark's gift for small-town vernacular, writing that he "captures a drowsy world of beaten dreamers, rendering their pathos and hilarity with the self-assuredness of a seasoned novelist." On the occasion of the book's release in paperback, Clark will be reading at Raleigh's Quail Ridge Books Thursday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m. Call 828-1588 for details. --Clancy Nolan

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