Robert T. Sorrells Killing Your Own Snakes

ISBN 13: 9781483647739

Killing Your Own Snakes

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9781483647739: Killing Your Own Snakes

This is not a biography of John Harvey Sorrells I expect there ll never be one of those and that s probably just as well Sometimes I think a writer s work is his own best autobiography certainly and as much biography as he needs But I m doing this because of two things one simple the other far from it My late oldest brother John sent me a couple of boxes back in 1993 chock a block with manuscript and newspaper printed stuff written by our father I looked through it quickly and was intrigued right away but didn t have the time to do anything with it Over a period of about a year I managed to root around considerably more along with my son daughter and wife and eventually I knew I d have to mess with it in a much more formal and intentional way But that was the simple part reading all the material lifting this bit from here and combining it with that shard from there to create a whole that didn t injure the narra tive deciding to stick with the newspaperman s spellings of words like thru and cigaret along with standard newspaper punctuation deciding how to include not just the best stuff but the typical as well All that simply comes with the turf of editing someone else s material The much harder part though was the realization that I was in some ways on a fool s errand My father died about five weeks before his fifty second birthday At the time we were living in New York City That is my parents were I was the youngest of four children fifteen and with my older brother Bill a high school student in Virginia In spite of its rampant self absorption crudities cynicisms vulgarities and erupting juices of sexuality fifteen is a tender age Maybe vulnerable is more accurate In any event it s an age when a boy even a boy man really needs his father It s a fragile time because the boy coming into manhood is coming into a period when he s just about ready to start knowing his father as another man as a person as a hum

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About the Author:

Robert T. Sorrells is a fiction writer whose stories have been published in a number of magazines including Penthouse, Playgirl, and American Review. A book of his short stories was published by the University of Arkansas Press, and he has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories series; Tennis and the Meaning of Life: a Literary Anthology of the Game; Full Court: a Literary Anthology of Basketball; and the LSU Press anthology Southern Writing in the Sixties. Also, he and his son Walter co-wrote a "novelization" based on three or four episodes of a Youth TV series entitled Flight 29 Down. His story "A Fan of the Game" brought Sorrells a PEN/NEA Syndicated Fiction Award, and he also has been the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. His non-fiction work has included writing brochures for a Vanderbilt University capital gifts campaign (as well as shepherding a film crew around the campus while they shot the footage needed to produce a 30 minute film); being commissioned to write a history of Clemson University's Experimental Forest; writing and narrating programs for a land-use film for the state of South Carolina, as well as working as an editor for Clemson University's Publications and Graphics Department. Sorrells has taught English and writing at Murray State College (University), Clemson University, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Arkansas's MFA Program.

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