A friend of mine was once a travelling Bible salesman in Florida. One day, out on the road, he came to a trailer with a pig’s-head-on-a-stick out front, and the man who lived there made him an offer. On a couch inside the trailer were three pregnant women. The man told my friend that he (the man) had impregnated these women in order to collect Social Security on his progeny. He said – if my friend wanted – he could get in on the deal. All my friend had to do was have sex, right there, with a woman he didn’t know, and nine months later the man in the trailer would mail him a cheque. This is the America where Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone takes place.