Southern Sin: True Stories of the Sultry South and Women Behaving Badly

Southern Sin: True Stories of the Sultry South and Women Behaving Badly


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23 strange-but-true stories of women flirting with perdition... In the steamy South, temptation is as wild and plentiful as kudzu. Whether the sin in question is skinny-dipping or becoming an unlikely porn star, running rum or renting out a room to a pair of exhibitionistic adulterers, in these true stories women defy tradition and forge their own paths through life—often learning unexpected lessons from the experience.

As Dorothy Allison writes in her introduction, “The most dangerous stories are the true ones, the ones we hesitate to tell, the adventures laden with fear or shame or the relentless pull of regret. Some of those are about things that we are secretly deeply proud to have done.”

A diverse array of contributors—mothers, daughters, sisters, best friends, fiancées, divorcees, professors, poets, lifeguards-in-training, lapsed Baptists, tipsy debutantes, middle-aged lesbians—lend their voices to this collection. Introspective and abashed, joyous and triumphant (but almost never apologetic), they remind us that sin, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937163105
Publisher: Fourth Chapter Books
Publication date: 03/18/2014
Pages: 350
Product dimensions: 1.90(w) x 2.80(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Lee Gutkind is the founder and editor of Creative Nonfiction magazine and the editor of anthologies including The Best Creative Nonfiction series and I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse. He is currently Distinguished Writer in Residence in the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes and a professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, both at Arizona State University.

Beth Ann Fennelly directs the MFA Program at Ole Miss, where she was named the 2011 Outstanding Liberal Arts Teacher of the Year. The Tilted World , the novel she co-authored with her husband, Tom Franklin, was published by HarperCollins in October 2013.

Dorothy Allison grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, the first child of a fifteen-year-old unwed mother who worked as a waitress. A novelist, short-story writer, and poet, Allison received mainstream recognition with her novel Bastard Out of Carolina, a finalist for the 1992 National Book Award. Awarded the 2007 Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction, Allison is a member of the board of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. She lives in Northern California with her partner Alix and her teenage son, Wolf Michael. A novel, She Who, is forthcoming.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Sin Dorothy Allison 6

Editor's Note: Running from the Lord Beth Ann Fennelly 10

Editor's Note: Unforgettable True Stories about Bad (and Sometimes Bizarre) Behavior Lee Gutkind 14

Acknowledgements 18

What Was Left Molly Langmuir 20

White Noise Sarah Cheshire 28

The Renters Chelsea Rathburn 36

Circles of Light Sheila Raeschild 48

Love in the Worst Way Aaron Gwyn 56

Fat Sarah Einstein 68

Mad Love: The Ballad of Fred & Allie Sonja Livingston 80

No Other Gods Sarah Gilbert 94

In-Training Ellen Hagan 102

The On-Ramp Amy Thigpen 108

Out of the Woods Gail Griffin 118

Rum-Running Queen Louella Bryant 130

Sportfucking in the South Suzanne Roberts 140

A Lesson in Merging Rachael Peckham 148

Tongues, Lust, and a Man from Indiana Adriana Paramo 160

Trouble Elyse Moody 172

Matinee Mendy Knott 180

Dol? C. W. Kelly 190

Nude Study River Jordan 200

A Country Where You Once Lived Sheryl St. Germain 208

Porn Star Elane Johnson 220

The Search for the Perfect Sidecar Kendra Hamilton 224

Rahab's Thread Katie Burgess 238

About the Contributors 248

Credits 254

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