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"Hines writes lovingly and convincingly about rural Texas, creating a strong sense of place and some wonderfully complex characters."
Set on the Blackland prairie of Texas in the early 1950s, Square Dance is the story of Homer Dillard, a cantankerous old man, and his eleven-year-old precocious and Bible-toting granddaughter, Gemma. They live together on a tumbledown chicken farm and sell eggs door to door in the nearby small town of Twilight. Dillard is eighty years old, left by his wife and by his daughter, Gemma's mother. Both have been abandoned, and their grudging loyalty to each other is at once fierce and touching. Incensed by Dillard's cussedness, Gemma finally packs up out of moral indignation and strikes off for the supposed glamour of Fort Worth, where her estranged mother lives a life of tawdry failure as a hairdresser.
So begins Gemma's remarkable journey, and in telling it, Alan Hines has created a rich, touching, and funny novel about the pains of growing up and growing old.
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"It is everywhere finely, smartly tooled: a good introduction to a writer of talent."
--Kirkus Review (starred)
"Square Dance is far removed from the kind of strange humour we have come to associate with the South. ...There is a sense of authorial freedom here, an awareness of a literary heritance that is no longer stifling."
--Times Literary Supplement
"An artful first novel that turns on solid, memorable characters and a well-sculpted plot."
" A fine character drama...What Mr. Hines has accomplished is a marvelous mood piece. His tornado-prone Texas landscapes echo the violence of emotions that erupt without warning."
--Kansas City Star
"A carefully wrought book, with firmly drawn characters and a richly realized sense of time and place that recall both setting and themes of McCullers' A Member of the Wedding and Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird."
"A witty and mordant picture of life."
--Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"Absorbing... You will feel everything Alan Hines meant for you to feel when he wrote this excellent novel...He writes with a feel for the state's culture and landscape that's bound to make Larry McMurtry fans sit up and take notice."
--Wichita Falls Times
"A tense and tender story from an uncommonly gifted new writer."
--San Jose Mercury News
"A finely crafted work that proves Hines knows his south as well as Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner and Harper Lee know theirs."
--Cedar Rapids Gazette
"A faithful, finely detailed depiction of a young girl's growing up in the Texas Bible Belt of a generation ago. All his characters are brought to life...The broken, inhibited friendship between a black and a white man is understated but fully realized. The description of a Texas twister comes out of direct observation, as does the whole book."
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Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-0060152974