Earl in the Yellow Shirt: Novel, A

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9780060928988: Earl in the Yellow Shirt: Novel, A

From a new literary star and acclaimed author of Pawpaw Patch, Necessary Lies and Dark of the Moon comes the haunting and poignant novel of a family in crisis, set in the backwoods of Georgia.

Meet the Scurvy family, an impoverished clan who are the scourge of their small white-trash community. Mother has died in childbirth, leaving behind her newborn and four uneducated children. Father, a toothless and slothful man, cannot muster the money for her funeral. Their 15-year-old daughter, the only girl among three brothers, realizes that the newborn infant is now hers to raise; something that will finally put meaning into her life. And the brothers find themselves enlisted by the town's corrupt bigwig to run moonshine -- a risky venture, but the only way they'll be able to earn the money to bury their mother.

Written in a powerful voice unique to Daugharty, Earl in the Yellow Shirt is narrated in alternating chapters by each of the main characters, their voices corning to the story with different nuances of hope and despair. It is a compelling work that solidifies Daugharty's versatile storytelling talents.

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Review:

Reminiscent of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, Earl in the Yellow Shirt follows the efforts of the aptly named Scurvy family--a dirt-poor south Georgia clan--to raise enough money for a decent funeral for their mother, who died giving birth. Told from multiple points of view--including that of daughter Loujean, who, at age 16, becomes the baby's caretaker-- Earl in the Yellow Shirt perfectly captures the cadence and dialect of Southern life and language. Like the best writing, the novel is thickly textured but reads lightly.

About the Author:

Janice Daugharty is Artist-in-Residence at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, in Tifton, Georgia. She is the author of one story collection and five novels: Dark of the Moon, Necessary Lies, Pawpaw Patch, Earl in the Yellow Shirt, and Whistle.

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