Something in Common: Contemporary Louisiana Stories

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LSU Press

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the introduction, Lewis P. Simpson locates the inherent weakness of regional fiction: ``the tyranny of local color.'' Noting that ``rich historical heritage can be more an impediment . . . than a help,'' Simpson writes that what these stories have in common is their rejection of cliched Louisiana exoticism. But though these tales eschew the timeworn Southern stereotypes, taken together they do conjure up a picture of a particular time and place. In ``The Blue Cat Club,'' Elton Glaser ably combines music and sensuous detail, describing jazz as ``a sound like moonlight over a tin roof.'' Ernest Gaines's ``The Turtle'' shows the poignant and brutal coming-of-age of two boys when their fathers take them to a local brothel. Other older voices include Walker Percy, represented by a chapter from The Moviegoers , and Andre Dubus, with ``A Father's Story,'' a nearly flawless tale of a man who keeps secret his daughter's culpability in a fatal hit-and-run accident. When confronted by God in his imagination, he replies, ``But You never had a daughter.'' These standards are largely upheld by the less familiar names. Carl Wooten's ``The Auctioneer,'' about an appraiser's visit after a couple's personal bankruptcy, is quiet and moving, while Frederick Barton's story of a fed-up grad student provides some welcome cynicism and humor. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
YA-- A wonderful collection of short stories by Louisiana writers, some well known, but each with a voice that is both unique and characteristically Southern. All capture the flavor, accents, and images of life in this region. A vague malaise seems to haunt the characters; aside from their obvious connection to place, their stories are pervaded by a sense of loss: lost innocence, lost relationships. This volume is an ideal means for adolescent readers to discover Southern literature and provide a bridge to more traditional writers such as Faulkner. Especially appealing are some of the classic coming-of-age stories, such as ``The Peaceful Eye'' by Martha Lacy Hall and Ernest Gaines's ``The Turtles.'' --Barbette Timperlake, R. E. Lee High Sch . , Springfield, VA
A collection of 19 stories by the well-known (e.g. Walker Percy, Ernest Gaines, Shirley Ann Grau, Andre Dubus) as well as by younger writers whose reputations are still being established. They reveal a society of several races and many histories, with fading definitions of traditional roles and changing family patterns. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807116449
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1991
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 6.27 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Brewster Dobie is professor of English at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, in Lafayette.

LSU Press

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