Trophy: A Novel (Hardcover)

Trophy: A Novel By Michael Griffith Cover Image
Unavailable for purchase.


Vada Prickett is a 29-year-old Hose Associate at a car wash in South Carolina, and Darla, the woman he loves, is about to marry his friend, rival, and life-long neighbor, Wyatt Yancey. Vada has “spent his life waiting for the thing to get a proper start.” But it will never get that start, for Vada, as this wildly original novel opens, is being crushed to death by Wyatt’s latest animal trophy, a stuffed grizzly bear Vada has been helping him to smuggle—against Darla’s wishes—into Wyatt’s house. 

It turns out that the cliché is true—at the moment of death, your life does flash before your eyes. Trophy, the account of a man’s final, fleeting instant on earth, joins Vada as he attempts to make that flash last as long as possible. As he lies dying, too soon and too absurdly, Vada tries to unravel the mysteries of his life. He first bargains with God, then rages against the dying of the light. Exhausted, Vada proceeds to prolong, in every way available to a man in his dire circumstances, the time he has remaining. 

Just beneath Griffith’s dark humor and witty take on our present-day culture lies a meditation on memory and identity and the power of language over both.

About the Author

Michael Griffith is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Cincinnati. He is the author of Spikes: A Novel (2001) and Bibliophilia: A Novella and Stories (2003).

Praise For…

“A rare thing: brilliant, moving, hilarious, one of the smartest, funniest books I’ve read in ages, as well as one of the most complicated.” —Elizabeth McCracken, author of An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

"Trophy is a brilliant novel; I can’t think of another book like it, another book that loves its characters so much that it can’t allow them to die, even when one (Vada, the novel’s beautifully written sad sack car washing “hose associate”) has been crushed by a stuffed bear. Trophy is powered by Vada’s desperate attempts to stay alive, and you can’t blame him: you wouldn’t want to die, either, if you were part of this wickedly funny, allusive, word happy, tender novel. Think of this book as the best kind of life support; while I was reading it, the world seemed like a much more brilliant place, a place worth living in, a place I didn’t want to leave. You won’t want to leave it, either." —Brock Clarke, author of Exley and An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England

Product Details
ISBN: 9780810152182
ISBN-10: 0810152185
Publisher: TriQuarterly
Publication Date: May 4th, 2011
Pages: 296
Language: English