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Louisiana State Univ Pr
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To drink deep of the direction and sensibility of contemporary southern fiction, savor each dram in this delectable volume. Nineteen of the South's most venerable writers -- Madison Smartt Bell, Doris Betts, Fred Chappell, Ellen Douglas, Shelby Foote, George Garrett, Allan Gurganus, Barry Hannah, William Hoffman, Madison Jones, Michael Knight, William...
To drink deep of the direction and sensibility of contemporary southern fiction, savor each dram in this delectable volume. Nineteen of the South's most venerable writers -- Madison Smartt Bell, Doris Betts, Fred Chappell, Ellen Douglas, Shelby Foote, George Garrett, Allan Gurganus, Barry Hannah, William Hoffman, Madison Jones, Michael Knight, William Henry Lewis, Jill McCorkle, Lewis Nordan, Louis D. Rubin, Jr., Lee Smith, Elizabeth Spencer, Walter Sullivan, and Allen Wier -- have selected a short work for inclusion here. All of the contributors are affiliated with the the Fellowship of Southern Writers, organized in 1989 under the inspiration of the late Cleanth Brooks for the purpose of encouraging and honoring excellence in southern letters.Each piece in The Cry of an Occasion celebrates the distinctness of southern experience, giving expression in story form to a singular episode of mind, heart, or will. Varying from whimsical to ominous to sidesplitting to melancholy, the stories share a regard for the people who brush against us and in so doing shape us -- generations of family especially, neighbors, as well as those occasional individuals who can mysteriously yet profoundly affect our lives.On a freezing December night, a woman returning home from a first date with a man finds herself locked out of her apartment; the pains he takes to help her surprises them both. A teenage girl suffers the day of her grandmother's funeral attempting to be adult, furious with the pessimism of her mother and wounded by the absence of her father since she was three. A slave fleeing Mississippi in 1862 draws on the wisdom of breaking horses passed down from his grandfather to win assistancein his flight for freedom. Fourteen years after his teenage son's death, a man realizes his mourning is incomplete despite therapy, relocation, and the outward signs of contentment. A pregnant woman has vivid dreams -- of giving birth to a kitten, of forgetting her baby on the hood of her car, and of concealing a joint in her bra -- as she watches Boston's changing seasons and struggles with her torturous enjoyment of smoking."Now where will it all end?" asks one character. "All this pain and loving, mystery and loss. And it just goes on and on". The occasion and expression of southern fiction are in hale and hardy form, and reading this exemplary collection is pure pleasure.
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