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The Gaudy Place

Chappell, Fred

13 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0807119342 / ISBN 13: 9780807119341
Published by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 1994
Used Condition: Very Good Soft cover
From Row By Row Bookshop (Sugar Grove, NC, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Signed. A Very Good or better copy in lightly worn paper covers of this volume from the Voices of the South series. Signed by the author at the title page. Bookseller Inventory # 028400

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Gaudy Place

Publisher: Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Trade Paperback

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: No Dust Jacket

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: Reprint Edition

About this title


Fred Chappell’s The Gaudy Place is perhaps the first novel to depict the society of the street people of the New South and their relationship to the middle class. For its wry portrayal of displacement and injustice this novel was awarded the Sir Walter Raleigh Prize.

The street-smart teenager Arkie triggers the events of the story with his ambition to rise in economic status. He proposes business deals to the prostitute Clemmie and the successful con man Oxie, a hustler who aspires to political office. When the prank of a middle-class teenager, Linn Harper, offers Oxie the surprising opportunity to gain a foothold in respectable society, an unexpected climax reveals the interdependence of all social levels in a culture too quickly changing from a rural to an urban character. Here is a small world in which quick wits and wily survival skills are necessary and admirable, even though the race is not always to the swift.

Originally published in 1973, The Gaudy Place is drily humorous, darkly ironic, fast-moving, and entertaining. Its best strength is its gallery of sharply drawn, fondly observed characters unknowingly at odds with one another.

About the Author:

Fred Chappell is the author of twenty-six books of poetry, fiction, and critical commentary. His most recent collection was Shadow Box. A native of Canton in the mountains of western North Carolina, he taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro from 1964 to 2004 and was the Poet Laureate of North Carolina from 1997 to 2002. He and his wife, Susan, live in Greensboro.

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