Larry Brown and the Blue-Collar South

Larry Brown and the Blue-Collar South

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Overview

Larry Brown and the Blue-Collar South by Jean W. Cash

A critical assessment of a great Mississippi writer's empathy with the working class

With contributions from Robert G. Barrier, Robert Beuka, Thomas rvold Bjerre, Jean W. Cash, Robert Donahoo, Richard Gaughran, Gary Hawkins, Darlin' Neal, Keith Perry, Katherine Powell, John A. Staunton, and Jay Watson

Larry Brown is noted for his subjects--rural life, poverty, war, and the working class--and his spare, gritty style. Brown's oeuvre spans several genres and includes acclaimed novels (Dirty Work, Joe, Father and Son, The Rabbit Factory, and A Miracle of Catfish), short story collections (Facing the Music, Big Bad Love), memoir (On Fire), and essay collections (Billy Ray's Farm). At the time of his death, Brown (1951-2004) was considered to be one of the finest exemplars of minimalist, raw writing of the contemporary South.

Larry Brown and the Blue-Collar South considers the writer's full body of work, placing it in the contexts of southern literature, Mississippi writing, and literary work about the working class. Collectively, the essays explore such subjects as Brown's treatment of class politics, race and racism, the aftereffects of the Vietnam War on American culture, the evolution of the South from a plantation-based economy to a postindustrial one, and male-female relations. The role of Brown's mentors--Ellen Douglas and Barry Hannah--in shaping his work is discussed, as is Brown's connection to such writers as Harry Crews and Dorothy Allison. The volume is one of the first critical studies of a writer whose depth and influence mark him as one of the most well-regarded Mississippi authors.

Jean W. Cash is professor of English at James Madison University. She is the author of Flannery O'Connor: A Life. Keith Perry is associate professor of English at Dalton State College and the author of The Kingfish in Fiction: Huey P. Long and the Modern American Novel. Rick Bass is the author of novels and collections of nonfiction and short stories, most recently The Lives of Rocks: Stories.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604738605
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
Publication date: 05/20/2010
Pages: 222
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Jean W. Cash, Broadway, Virginia, is professor emerita of English at James Madison University. She is the author of Flannery O'Connor: A Life and Larry Brown: A Writer's Life (University Press of Mississippi).

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Keith Perry is associate professor of English at Dalton State College and the author of The Kingfish in Fiction: Huey P. Long and the Modern American Novel.

Rick Bass is the author of novels and collections of nonfiction and short stories, most recently The Lives of Rocks: Stories.

Table of Contents

Foreword: A Tribute to Larry Brown   Rick Bass     vii
Larry Brown: An Introduction   Jean W. Cash     xix
Facing the Music: What's Wrong with All Those Happy Endings   Darlin' Neal     3
Implicating the Reader: Dirty Work and the Burdens of Southern History   Robert Donahoo     18
Saving Them from Their Lives: Storytelling and Self-Fulfillment in Big Bad Love   Jean W. Cash     36
Economics of the Cracker Landscape: Poverty as an Environmental Issue in Larry Brown's Joe   Jay Watson     49
The White Trash Cowboys of Father and Son   Thomas Aervold Bjerre     58
Hard Traveling: Fay's Deep-South Landscape of Violence   Robert Beuka     73
Home and the Open Road: The Nonfiction of Larry Brown   Robert G. Barrier     86
The Rabbit Factory: Escaping the Isolation of the Cage   Richard Gaughran     99
A Miracle of Catfish and the Recursions of Art   John A. Staunton     111
Fireman-Writer, Bad Boy Novelist, King of Grit Lit: "Building" Larry Brown(s) at Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill   Keith Perry     130
Afterword: On The Rough South of Larry Brown: An Interview with Filmmaker Gary Hawkins   Katherine Powell     157
Contributors     175
Index     179

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