That's What I Like (About The South), And Other New Southern Stories For The Nineties

Overview

"Southern Fiction is alive and kicking and going off in all kinds of directions as this old century stagers to an end." To prove their audacious pronouncement, George Garrett and Paul Ruffin have assembled thirty-one stories representing the best of recent Southern fiction. These stories weave together themes that underscore what being Southern is all about: the retelling of the past, the uncertainty of the future, the haunting presence of racial guilt, the inescapable influence of family-for better or worse, the struggle for survival, and the
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Overview

"Southern Fiction is alive and kicking and going off in all kinds of directions as this old century stagers to an end." To prove their audacious pronouncement, George Garrett and Paul Ruffin have assembled thirty-one stories representing the best of recent Southern fiction. These stories weave together themes that underscore what being Southern is all about: the retelling of the past, the uncertainty of the future, the haunting presence of racial guilt, the inescapable influence of family-for better or worse, the struggle for survival, and the tragedy and humor of Southern life.

A collection of 31 stories that weave together themes that underscore what being Southern is all about: the retelling of the past, uncertainty of the future, haunting presence of racial guilt, inescapable influence of family, struggle for survival, and the tragedy and humor of Southern life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A number of themes unify the otherwise varied works in this collection. R.H.W. Dillard playfully intercuts a list of these themes in the collection's title story; among them are ``deep involvement in place . . . family bonds . . . celebration of eccentricity . . . an inability to leave the past behind.'' Fred Chappell's funny, fantastic tale about a couple's flesh-and-blood (and tobacco-spit) encounters with their Civil War ancestors points out the dangers of living too intimately with history. Lolis Eric Elie examines another legacy of the South in a story about a jazz musician's attempt to pass on his musical heritage to a group of boys more interested in R&B and football. Some stories, such as Madison Smartt Bell's, about a woman fishing for hammerhead sharks, are more concerned with how the physical lay of the land contours the emotional terrain. Kelly Cherry sets her story in Wisconsin, but its family-oriented roots (``While I was in the mental hospital,'' it begins provocatively, ``my brother ran off with a Hungarian countess.'') are in the South. Garrett ( The Sorrows of Fat City ) and Ruffin, an editor of the Texas Review , offer a well-balanced arrangement of stories juxtaposed to flow and surprise, a sparkling collection that both illuminates and transcends its geography. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872498648
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1993
  • Pages: 422
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Editors' Note
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Good Songs Behind Us: Southern Fiction of the 1990s 1
Billboard 10
Hammerhead 17
The Sock Factory 23
Sleep 31
Ancestors 36
The Hungarian Countess 61
The Plan 92
That's What I Like (About the South) 107
About Loving Women 126
Silent Spaces 136
Throwing Earth 141
Blue Hands 152
The Field of Lost Shoes 159
Domestic Understory 172
The Magician of Soweto 178
Rage 192
Out of the Blue 210
The Last Bizarre Tale 230
Final Vinyl Days 241
Weeds 255
Uncle Preston 268
The Commuters 281
Absent Thee from Felicity 290
Mexico 299
Dogs 324
Distance 330
On This Bare Island 346
Witness 350
Mother's Wedding 368
She Came, Then, to This Sea 372
Bastard 379
Afterword: Time and the Tide in the Southern Short Story 395
Contributors 405
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