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Stories from the Blue Moon Café: Anthology of Southern Writers

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This collection of thirty Southern writers gathers some of the finest authors in the country - with stories, essays, and a poem. Demonstrating a range of styles, topics, and themes these stories display each writer's craftsmanship and talent and together form a testament to the grand literary tradition of the South.
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1931561095 MacAdam hardcover with great dustjacket

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Stories From the Blue Moon Cafe

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Overview

This collection of thirty Southern writers gathers some of the finest authors in the country - with stories, essays, and a poem. Demonstrating a range of styles, topics, and themes these stories display each writer's craftsmanship and talent and together form a testament to the grand literary tradition of the South.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Of the 30 short stories featured in this quixotic and eclectic collection, the most notable are perhaps the refreshing, well-chosen selections by lesser-known voices of the New South. Still, an impressive lineup of brand-name authors including Rick Bragg, Pat Conroy, William Gay, W.E.B. Griffin, Winston Groom, Melinda Haynes, Silas House, Brad Watson and Steve Yarbrough round out the mix. The common bond and creative wellspring of the collection is the annual gathering of authors called Southern Writers Reading, held the weekend before Thanksgiving in the artsy town of Fairhope, Ala. Local bookstore (Over the Transom) owner Sonny Brewer is the originator and driving force behind the loosely organized writers conference, and editor of the anthology. The addition of local luminaries W.E.B. Griffin and Winston Groom, and the inclusion of other locals C. Terry Cline Jr. and Judith Richards, was a natural extension of the idea. As the project took shape, like a snowball rolling downhill, it picked up other deserving writers in its path. If the stories (mostly previously unpublished) have anything in common, it is their brevity. But in the space of a few pages each, they range widely in setting and subject matter: from Griffin's "Going Back to the Bridge in Berlin," about an ex-serviceman's return to his post-WWII posting, to Richard Shackelford's "From Tucson to Tucumari, from Hatchabee to Tonopah," about an old trucker's death. The true accomplishment of this freespirited venture is the discovery of such gifted voices as Jennifer Paddock and local bookstore clerk Jim Gilbert. This collection may well become a yearly objet d'art. (Aug. 19) Forecast: The Best of the Oxford American (Forecasts, July 15), published in the same month as Stories from the Blue Moon Caf , has the edge in name recognition, but connoisseurs of Southern writing in search of something new may want to pick up this upstart anthology. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Every year on the weekend before Thanksgiving, Fairhope, AL, located on Mobile Bay, hosts an "annual literary slugfest" known as Southern Writers Reading. Brewer (Red Bluff Review; Rembrandt the Rocker), a local bookstore owner who helps organize the event, decided that the time was right to publish a chapbook of the writers who attended last year's conference. The project grew into an anthology of Southern writers, all of whom donated their fees to benefit the Fairhope Center for Writing Arts. Taking its name from last November's blue moon around Fairhope and Robert Bell's fictionalized Fairhope in his novel, The Butterfly Tree, this collection includes several essays (Rick Bragg on the delta blues and Pat Conroy on the Citadel) and a prose poem (Beth Ann Fennelly's "I Would Like To Go Back As I Am, Now, To You As You Were, Then"), in addition to fiction by writers as diverse as Jill Connor Brown, Patricia Foster, Tom Franklin, Winston Groom, Melinda Haynes, Michael Knight, Barbara Robinette Moss, Brad Watson, Steve Yarbrough, and many others. Likely to become a regional best seller, this anthology is recommended for public libraries with large Southern collections. Pam Kingsbury, Florence, AL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931561099
  • Publisher: MacAdam/Cage Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Pages: 351
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Final Spring 5
The Blues Is Dying in the Place It Was Born 17
Bitsy 23
S. Trident 27
My Heart's Content 53
The Octopus Alibi 59
I Would Like to Go Back as I Am, Now, to You as You Were, Then - 73
The Girl from Soldier Creek 75
Christmas 1893 89
Come Home, Come Home, It's Suppertime 95
Everything Must Go 115
Going Back to the Bridge in Berlin 131
Just a Little Closer to the Lord 137
Love Like a Bullet 145
Left Behind 165
The Last Days 169
The Fall of the Nixon Administration 187
A Modern Tragedy 203
Payback 213
Killing Stonewall Jackson 221
White Sugar and Red Clay 231
Blackbird 241
And When I Should Feel Something 255
How This Song Ends 269
From Tucson to Tucumcari, From Hatchabee to Tonopah 273
Vietnam 281
Jesus, Beans, and Butter Rum Lifesavers 295
Arnold's Number 303
The Dead Girl 321
The Right Kind of Person 333
Author Biographies 347
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2002

    Wonderfully Worthy!!!!!

    A recent egregious review seems to be jealously based! Ignore it! This compilation is wonderfully worthy! P.S. The cat lived!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2002

    a response to RK

    Certainly everyone is entitled to their opinion, but at least your facts should be correct. The short story, "Left Behind", does not describe in graphic detail the killing of a cat. The reason there is no such graphic detail is because the cat wasn't killed at all. It's based upon a true story. The man used the hammer to pop off the jagged glass collar around the cat's neck which was left when the jar wedged around her head was broken off. The man developed a bond with the cat since they were both left behind by the woman who moved out on her husband and took the other cats. The story was designed to allow the reader's imagination to fill in the gaps. Your imagination filled in the gaps with gruesome graphic details that don't exist.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2002

    worst anthology I ever read

    What a dismal book, redeemed only by the reliably excellent George Singleton. Don't expect any Flannery O'Connors or Walker Percys in this anthology. Almost every Southern character in this book lives in a trailer, is a violent drunk or married to one, or kills someone. So if you think Southerners are a bunch of white trash drunken murderers, then by all means read this book. Most of the stories rely on simple shock value to get their point across. It's a easy task to shock a reader, and any writer can do this. Most offensive was "Left Behind," a 1 1/2 page story about a man whose wife leaves him, so he kills her cat. This is described quite graphically and since the story is only a handful of paragraphs, it was obviously written for the express purpose of describing this cruel and vicious act. It's pretty clear the writer got as much of a kick out of writing this as his character did from killing the poor creature. That's a sick way to get your jollies. This is not the only story to rely on shock value. Many of the stories describe murder and violence. In "Christmas 1893", a wife who suffers chronic violent abuse from her drunken husband regrets that he was killed because she'll miss that feeling between her legs. As if the fact that he has sex with her makes up for the fact that he beats her and her son. This is totally unrealistic. Even the highly esteemed Rick Bragg is full of cliches in his tiresome "The Blues Is Dying in the Place It Was Born". If there's one thing the world doesn't need, it's another endless litany of sentences that begin "The blues is...". I could go on and cite many more examples of the unimaginative writing in this book, much of it from otherwise excellent writers. I will conclude by saying that I hated this book so much I did not donate it to the thrift shop, as I usually do with unwanted books. I threw it in the garbage--a drastic step for a bibliophile.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2002

    Stories from the Blue Moon Cafe: Anthology of Southern Writers

    If there's no accounting for taste, then I can't imagine what sort of ledger is kept by the reviewer who deemed this lively, quixotic collection of southern writing so unredeemingly bad. What this book does so well is offer 30 or so different voices telling 30 or so different stories that could only take place in the south, and thus could only been told in the clear, strong voices of the southern writers represented in the anthology. While Singleton's story is top-notch, many of the other writers--some established, like Bragg, some making welcome debuts to my reading experience, like Jim Gilbert and William Gay--have proved that some of this nation's best writing shines from many spots below the Mason-Dixon line, sounding more than a yawp over the rooftops.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2002

    Stories from the Blue Moon Cafe: Anthology of Southern Writers

    i received a copy of this book for my birthday last month (i think my wife wanted it for herself - you know how that goes.) and had a chance to read some of these great new southern writers for the first time. i am not a big short story fan, but even the stories i didn't like so well were fairly good. i feel as though i have now seen a bit of the south, a place i have never visited, and i hope to see a LOT more from these authors in the future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2011

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