The Last Bizarre Tale: Stories by David Madden

The Last Bizarre Tale: Stories by David Madden

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Overview


Though he has authored more than eleven novels including, Cassandra Singing, The Suicide’s
Wife, Abducted by Circumstance
, and the recent London Bridge in Plague and Fire, David
Madden has been publishing short stories for all six decades of his active career. The Last
Bizarre Tale
consists of works that appeared in journals but that have not appeared together
as a collection.

Madden used two stories, “The Singer” and “Second Look Presents: the Rape of an
Indian Brave,” as chapters in his 1980 novel On the Big Wind. “The Headless Girl’s Mother”
was first published as a chapter in a serialized novel entitled Hair of the Dog. Two other stories
developed out of longer versions of Madden’s novels. “A Demon in My View” is part of
a sequel, not yet published, to Bijou.

All of the stories in David Madden’s third collection are distinguished by variety of content
and by shifting styles and often innovative techniques. They are to varying degrees and
in various ways bizarre in their characters and their relationships, in the kinds of internal
and external conflicts, and in locales and themes. The title story, The Last Bizarre Tale, involving
a corpse that has hung on a hook in a funeral home garage for decades, is evocative
of Poe and, in its dark, grotesque humor, Flannery O’Connor and Carson McCullers.
“Process is as important as product to David Madden,” writes editor James Perkins,
“and one can learn as much about the process of writing as about the human condition by a
careful reading of these stories.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781621900528
Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
Publication date: 08/10/2014
Edition description: 1
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author


The author of eleven novels and two short story collections, David Madden is known for
his innovative style and technique in crafting fiction. His work is praised by critics and
fans alike as complex yet lyrical and always masterfully done. He lives in Black Mountain,
North Carolina.

James A. Perkins is a professor of English Emeritus at Westminster College. He is the
author of The Cass Mastern Material: The Core of Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men.
He is coeditor, with Jeffrey J. Folks, of Southern Writers at Century’s End and coauthor,
with Randy J. Hendricks, of David Madden: A Writer for All Genres.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Reading David Madden tot Half a Century James A. Perkins ix

A Piece of the Sky 1

She's Always Had a Will of Her Own 12

Lights 20

Who Killed Harpo Marx? 34

James Agee Never Lived in This House 40

A Secondary Character 55

Hurry Up Please It's Time 72

The Singer 80

A Human Interest Death 103

The Master's Thesis 114

Over the Cliff 130

By Way of Introduction 139

Seven Frozen Starlings 144

Second Look Presents: The Rape of an Indian Brave 152

The Retriever 172

A Walk with Thomas Jefferson at Poplar Forest 186

A Demon in My View 193

Wanted: Ghost Writer 206

Lying in Wait 222

The Headless Girl's Mother 231

The Last Bizarre Tale 245

Acknowledgments 255

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