Friday, January 03, 2014

Short Takes

Buzzfeed selects Tom Kealey's THIEVES I'VE KNOWN as one of the "17 Books We Loved in 2013." "In his hauntingly beautiful short story collection, Kealey unveils each of the lives of his young characters like a flower, and shows their capacity for survival."

Publishers Weekly reviews Kate Sweeney's forthcoming AMERICAN AFTERLIFE:
As radio reporter and producer Sweeney notes in this unsettling, compassionate volume on American mourning customs, death was once a ubiquitous part of American life; the Victorians raised mourning to an art form. . . . Her stories originate mostly in the South, but have universal relevance. Sweeney writes with a deft touch and with empathy for mourners, whose stories she relays with clarity and care.
Calvin Trillin's "Tamales on the Delta" article in the most recent issue of the New Yorker gives a shout-out to Susan Puckett's EAT DRINK DELTA. Recapping last year's second annual Delta Hot Tamale Festival in Greenville, MS, Trillin comments on a regional food specialties panel he attended. "Susan Puckett, the author of EAT DRINK DELTA, mentioned another favorite of the region we were in—Kool-Aid pickles." Trillin is the author of AN EDUCATION IN GEORGIA (available from UGA Press), which focuses on the integration of the University of Georgia. "[This book] comes closer to the essential social truths of the problem than do some works of greater scope. . . . Trillin brings to the task a greater knowledge of his subjects than most reporters. . . .This knowledge is reinforced by a keen eye, a sensitive ear and respect for fact."—New York Times Book Review

The Nashua Telegraph selects EAT DRINK DELTA as one of the notable cookbooks and culinary reads for 2013.
This is hearty Southern cooking; there is plenty of sugar and butter. But the amounts seem below the norm and few of the recipes involve deep-fat frying. Try, for instance, Chef Charlotte Skelton’s traditional Delta-style chicken salad, built around poached and shredded chicken breasts, or Kathleen Claiborne’s hot cakes with (and this is heretical for New Englanders) orange syrup. featured Cynthia Lowen's poem "Manifest Destiny" on December 27 for the Poem-A-Day program. Check out the poem here. Lowen is the author of THE CLOUD THAT CONTAINED THE LIGHTNING.

KGGN 890AM interviewed John Edgar Tidwell and Carmaletta Williams about their new book, MY DEAR BOY, on December 18. Listen to the interview here.

The Florida Times-Union interviewed Jingle Davis about her book, ISLAND TIME, and her decision to move back to St. Simons Island. Here's an excerpt from the article:
In talking about the island, she said, “It’s vanishing, St. Simons along with the rest of vanishing Georgia. It happens on the coast. It’s popular, people want to live there.”
She notes that once people get to St. Simons Island, they get protective.
It’s funny how that works. People moving to the island don’t ask how many trees were bulldozed to build the house they bought, but they don’t want any more touched.
The book doesn’t have everything, she is certain of that, but she said, “I seem to have put enough in to recognize the place that was there when we were little.”
Asked why she decided to move back to her house on the island, Jingle gives the stock answer.
“I guess I’ve got sand between my toes,” she said.
Maybe, but she’s also seen the marsh turn gold an hour before a winter sunset, had the sea fog condense in tiny beads on her hair, felt the afternoon sea breeze cool a stifling summer day and seen a beam from the lighthouse reach across the still, dark sound.
"ALABAMA GETAWAY is an essential read for anyone who wants to understand contemporary American politics."—Southern Cultures

The January issue of Carolina Arts highlights Andrea Feeser's RED, WHITE, AND BLACK MAKE BLUE. The magazine is available for viewing and/or downloading here.

Brian Craig Miller, author of the forthcoming EMPTY SLEEVES: AMPUTATION IN THE CIVIL WAR SOUTH (2015), has a piece on Major General John Bell Hood for the New York Times' Disunion blog. Hood was one of many during the Civil War whose injury led to the loss of a limb. EMPTY SLEEVES will be the fifth book in the UnCivil Wars series.

Congrats to Michele Gillespie, Paul M. Pressly, and Karen A. Weyler! Their books, KATHARINE AND R.J. REYNOLDS, ON THE RIM OF THE CARIBBEAN, and EMPOWERING WORDS, were chosen as Outstanding Academic Titles by Choice magazine.

Congratulations to Frank X Walker! His book, TURN ME LOOSE, made three best poetry books of 2013 lists: Tinhouse, and Split This Rock.