About the Author:
Sonny Brewer owns Over the Transom Bookstore in Fairhope, Alabama, and serves as board chairman of the Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts. He is the author of the novel The Poet of Tolstoy Park and the upcoming A Sound Like Thunder. Brewer believes his best writing is to come in his children’s book, Rembrandt the Rocker, forthcoming from MacAdam/Cage.
Like the two previous editions in the series, this anthology collects a delightful mix of well-known (Mary Ward Brown, Daniel Wallace) and unheralded southern fiction writers, with a little poetry and nonfiction mixed in. In one of the strongest pieces in the collection, Rick Bragg reports on the hiring of the first African American head football coach in the Southeastern Conference, Mississippi State University's Sylvester Croom. Bragg uses his trademark detail-soaked prose to examine the complexities of racial relations in the contemporary South. Race, in fact, plays an important role in many of these pieces. Throughout, the Faulknerian theme of the past's ceaseless presence still reigns, but these stories reflect the diversity of contemporary southern writing. William Gay's "Charting the Territories of the Red," for instance, tells the gruesome tale of a bloody battle on a riverbank between two groups of men. No one is wholly sympathetic in Gay's story, but readers will emerge from it with pity for all involved: for Gay, like many in this anthology, writes (to paraphrase Faulkner) of the heart, not the glands. John Green
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