Willie Morris's last book, My Cat Spit McGee was published by Random House in Fall 1999. He lived in Jackson, Mississippi, until his death in 1999.
In 1943, nine-year-old Morris first met Skip, an English smooth-haired fox terrier puppy who immediately went to sleep in his arms. From that magical moment of connection ("I was an only child, and he now was an only dog") until Morris left home to go to college, boy and dog were inseparable companions. In this sweetly sentimental if slight memoir, the author of New York Days (LJ 8/93) and North Toward Home (9/15/67) recalls growing up with Skip in the small, sleepy town of Yazoo, Mississippi. Unlike the other dogs Morris's family had owned, Skip was special. He could play football, running the "Statue of Liberty" play, much to the amazement of spectators ("Look at that dog playin' football!"). With a little assistance from Morris, Skip could drive a car ("Look at that ol' dog drivin' a car!"). He could run the 100-yard dash in 7.8 seconds, a world record for fox terriers. For anyone who has ever loved a dog, Morris's loving tribute will be a delightful read. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/94.]-Wilda Williams, "Library Journal"
"A rich experience all around.... Skip turns out to be a dog worth writing about.... I'd take him home in a shot." -Bruce McCall, The New York Times Book Review