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.
|Publisher:||University Press of Mississippi|
|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)..
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