Delia Owens’ novel Where the Crawdads Sing became increasingly popular by readers, selling over 10 million copies worldwide and even adapted into a film. Singer Taylor Swift even wrote an original song for the film after reading it and being inspired. But, after The Atlantic published an article highlighting the controversy around the book and the film, Owens is currently wanted for questioning in a murder in Zambia, a nation in Africa.
"Every creature does what it must to survive."
This is the marketing slogan for "Where the Crawdads Sing."
Here is my story about the author of "Crawdads," Delia Owens, and the Zambian officials who want to interview her in connection with a murder: https://t.co/lKR7fUuk2P
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) July 11, 2022
According to the article, Delia Owens and her husband, Mark, traveled to Zambia, where they wrote their novel The Eye of the Elephant where they discussed and highlighted their battles as conservationists against poachers. This caught the interests of ABC, who created a documentary that then featured ” the filmed murder of an alleged poacher.” The author clarifies there is little evidence to prove the person was a poacher and refers to the person as a “trespasser.”
Since it’s swiftly approaching I just want to remind folks that the author of WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING and her family were the primary suspects in a shooting in Zambia in 1995 and have been advised not to return there because they’re wanted for questioning in the murder.
— Nerd Girl Says (@Rachael_Conrad) July 7, 2022
Although this has been mentioned before, and the film and book have both been criticized heavily, the Atlantic article reignited the criticism online. The article also provided an update, as the author reported multiple sources confirmed that “Mark’s adult son from his first marriage, Christopher Owens, had been placed in charge of training the game scouts in hand-to-hand combat; and that Christopher Owens frequently beat the game scouts as a form of discipline.”The article also reported more disturbing things, like the Owens’ scouts tying up suspected poachers or bragging about the killing of poachers.
Yes, Where the Crawdads Sing sucks, but have you also considered that it contains all of its author's racism and, perhaps, belief that she got away with murder?
I did!! https://t.co/7FdZP1Len4
— Jacob Oller (@JacobOller) July 12, 2022
As of right now, the Owens have been directed to not return, as the original documentary ignited interest in authorities regarding the murder. Interestingly, the novel details the main character accused of murder, and many people have thought that the novel seems to mirror too closely the real story, which many find haunting. For example, the marketing line for the novel is “Every creature does what it must to survive.”