"These are haunting stories of people bearing the burdens of ordinary life a lot more completely than most of us ever do. Wives and mothers of inmates, sisters of sisters killed in motorcycle accidents, that wonderful-but-dreary Louisiana swampishness pervasive in these eloquent and exquisitely rendered tales of hardship. These are dark stories lit by headlights and lightning, fluorescent signs and tall highway lights, tough stories so real that they have the scent of the lived-through about them, which is testament to Darlin' Neal's ...
"These are haunting stories of people bearing the burdens of ordinary life a lot more completely than most of us ever do. Wives and mothers of inmates, sisters of sisters killed in motorcycle accidents, that wonderful-but-dreary Louisiana swampishness pervasive in these eloquent and exquisitely rendered tales of hardship. These are dark stories lit by headlights and lightning, fluorescent signs and tall highway lights, tough stories so real that they have the scent of the lived-through about them, which is testament to Darlin' Neal's extraordinary gift for prose and story." - Frederick Barthelme, editor of Mississippi Review and author of Waveland
“Darlin' Neal's book of stories is the literary equivalent of a Lucinda Williams music album: achingly lovely homages to heartbreak and hard times, sung by a voice rich with whiskey, soaked in insight. An absolutely stellar performance.”
"A collection as gritty, sharp and luminous as a Walker Evans photograph. Darlin' Neal has found the passion and the poetry in lives that might at first glance seem ordinary. A really beautiful debut."
I can't improve on Frederick Barthelme's comments, but I can second them. Darlin Neal almost shyly invites you into her fictional world, then slams the door and dares you to try and leave. And you won't be able to, because she'll have already grabbed hold of your heart.
I read tons of books. Some, I forget that day, others, maybe for a few days. A rare few, I recall and stew, ponder, and fret about months later. Those characters in Rattlesnaks & The Moon. They are real! I miss them. I worry about them. I want to know where they are, what they're doing. They are real people. Neal is a master of character-driven fiction. She has an unusual way of of quietly, almost daintily, engaging you into her sweet environment and then making you fear for the safety...
Terri Kirby Erickson
Reading Rattlesnakes and the Moon is about as rough and tumble, emotionally speaking, as a day spent riding bulls at the rodeo. But let me tell you, it's well worth the "bumps" and "bruises." Darlin' Neal's voice is as authentic and haunting as any blues singer's, and you'll be tapping your feet to these "lyrics" long after you finish this marvelous collection. If you don't mind chugging milk from a dirty glass, pick up a copy today...you won't regret it.
Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.37 (d)
Meet the Author
DARLIN’ NEAL is a native Mississippian who spent her childhood traveling New Mexico and attending 13 different grade schools. After completing degrees in Psychology, Journalism and English at New Mexico State, she left Las Cruces and headed for Tucson. Upon finishing her MFA at the University of Arizona, she returned to Mississippi in search of her roots. In 2001 she completed a PhD at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers.
Among her awards are a fiction fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a Henfield Transatlantic Award, New Mexico State University’s Frank Waters Fiction Fellowship, and the Joan Johnson Award from the Center for Writers. Her work has appeared in The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Puerto del Sol, Smokelong Quarterly, Eleven Eleven, The Rio Grande Review, and dozens of other magazines. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous anthologies including the Best of The Web 2009 and Online Writing: The Best of The First Ten Years. She holds an assistant professorship in the MFA program at The University of Central Florida.
In the past, she taught writing at The University of Arizona, The University of Southern Mississippi, Ole Miss, James Madison University, Clemson, Mississippi Valley State, at Half Moon Bay, and in Holly Springs and Grenada, Mississippi, the last two as a writer in residence for the Mississippi Arts Commission and NEA’s All Write program for literacy, a program begun by the late poet Aleda Shirley.
She lives in Orlando and Jensen Beach, Florida with a calico named Maggie, her guy and a dog named Catfish.