An American writer of humorous, Southern culture-flavored novels with small-town settings, he is particularly known for works such as Walking Across Egypt (1987) and Killer Diller (1991). His other books include Redeye (1995) and The Bible Salesman (2008).
He studied English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Later, he served as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force.
Eudora Welty inspired him to become a writer.
He was the only child of Truma and Ernest Edgerton. He grew up in the small town of Bethesda, North Carolina.
His 1991 novel, Killer Diller, was made into a feature film starring Lucas Black.