Michael Patrick Smith grew up in a ramshackle farmhouse where his father beat the walls and threw dinner plates. As a restless young man left unmoored by the crashing economy, Smith cut a path to North Dakota to rent a mattress on a flophouse floor. Sleeping boot to beard with the other rough-edged men looking to earn a cent drilling for oil, Smith wanted the work to burn him clean – of his violent upbringing, his demons, his disjointed, doomed relationships. He did not expect, among these quick-fisted, foul-mouthed hands, to find a community.
The Good Hand is a memoir of danger and exhaustion, of suffering, loneliness and grit, of masculinity and of learning how to reconcile yourself to yourself.
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