Being Dead in South Carolina

Overview

"Jacob White can write."—Padgett Powell

"A wide array of layered stories written with disarming care."—Ron Carlson, author of Five Skies

"Jacob White's characters are in trouble, and their creator brings them to life with language both lush and harsh, gritty and great."—Antonya Nelson, author of Bound

"Fresh, fierce, sad, funny, deep. The author is a natural story teller, with a voice that is like music. . . ....

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Being Dead in South Carolina

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Overview

"Jacob White can write."—Padgett Powell

"A wide array of layered stories written with disarming care."—Ron Carlson, author of Five Skies

"Jacob White's characters are in trouble, and their creator brings them to life with language both lush and harsh, gritty and great."—Antonya Nelson, author of Bound

"Fresh, fierce, sad, funny, deep. The author is a natural story teller, with a voice that is like music. . . . This book sings. It's real, it's beautiful."—Lev Raphael, author of The German Money

Set largely in the modern South, the stories in Being Dead in South Carolina concern people who no longer recognize themselves, who have arrived, like the Sunbelt itself, to a strange day that seems disconnected from all the old days, the old stories, the old selves. Yet it's always on this day we must answer for ourselves—right an overturned car, recover the body of a brother, convince a son of our worth and his. We are adrift with bad judgment, a little loose in the head, but searching for the correction.

A South Carolina native, Jacob White studied creative writing at the University of Houston, where he received the Donald Barthelme Memorial Fellowship in Fiction. His fiction has appeared in many journals, including the Georgia Review, New Letters, Salt Hill, and the Sewanee Review, from which he received the Andrew Lytle Prize. He teaches creative writing at Johnson State College and co-edits Green Mountains Review.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/02/2013
White's graceful yet gritty debut story collection demonstrates his great grasp of characterization and of life in the South. The folks who traverse through his set pieces are troubled, dejected, and drowning in the memories of days gone by while many are still treading water to stay afloat through the struggle of their daily lives. The title story concerns ne'er-do-well narrator Dayton, a gunshot victim whose injury has left him just slightly off-kilter as he tries to deal with his cousin Jackie's car, which he's flipped. This type of calamity and sobering aftermath saturates many of White's 17 stories. Some tales materialize into more lengthy novellas like "The Days Down Here," in which a reflective man and his dying wife ponder their life, their homestead, and a son who has grown up way too fast; in "Bethel," a brother recalls becoming reacquainted with his estranged and emotionally unstable sibling. Other stories establish their presence with an economy of poignant family-focused prose such as "My Father at the Mountainside," in which the narrator equates his fleeting happiness with his father's hand-me-down cowboy boots, or with the involuntary bonding occurring in "Out with Father." Collectively, White's assemblage, all of which have been previously published in a variety of literary journals, demonstrates an obvious and impressive love of language, all woven around the downtrodden layers of humanity in the bucolic South. (Dec.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935248446
  • Publisher: Leapfrog Press
  • Publication date: 11/26/2013
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 962,100
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Jacob White: • A South Carolina native, Jacob White studied creative writing at Binghamton University and the University of Houston, where he received the Donald Barthelme Memorial Fellowship in Fiction. His fiction has appeared in many journals, including The Georgia Review, New Letters, Salt Hill, and The Sewanee Review, from whom he received the Andrew Lytle Prize. He teaches creative writing at Johnson State College and co-edits Green Mountains Review.
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