Mississippi Books and Writers

April 1997

Note: Prices listed below reflect the publisher's suggested list price. They are subject to change without notice.

Black Flower Black Flower: A Novel of the Civil War

By Howard Bahr

Nautical & Aviation Publishing Company of America (Hardcover, ISBN: 187785350X)

Publication date: April 1997

Description from Kirkus Reviews (1 February 1997)

Bahr makes an impressive debut with a haunting tale of a brief but bloody encounter on the road to Nashville, which helped put paid to the Confederate cause in the latter stages of America’s Civil War. Although a university graduate, Bushrod Carter is a private soldier in the 21st Mississippi, a storied regiment in the battered Southern army commanded by General John Bell Hood. Scattered by Sherman’s march to the sea, Bushrod and his fellow veterans (wearied by three years of unremitting combat) find themselves facing fresh Union forces outside Franklin, Tenn., in late November of 1864. Ordered to attack, they advance across an open field to meet their entrenched foe on a fine autumn afternoon. After a fierce battle (seen only through the eyes of women and children in the farmstead Rebel officers have requisitioned as a hospital), the real horrors begin. Bandsmen bearing wounded from the battlefield by the light of guttering torches find Bushrod (who’s sustained a concussion and lost a finger) almost by chance beneath a pile of corpses, but his two best friends did not survive the engagement.

Meantime, under cover of darkness, scavengers roam the killing ground stripping the dead of their valuables, and a former teacher crazed by the carnage prays that God will forgive the South. Apparently little the worse for wear, Bushrod eventually manages to locate and bury his dead mates. Assisting him in this sad business is Anna Hereford, a relative visiting the family that owns the farm. While nearly dehumanized by what he’s been through, the young — and doomed — rifleman feels attracted to Anna, who warily returns his interest. He soon follows his fallen comrades, however, leaving Anna to grieve for what might have been. A bleakly effective and economical account of men and women caught up in a bestial conflict. Copyright © 1997 Kirkus Associates, LP.

The Darkest Days of the War: The Battles of Iuka and Corinth

Nonfiction by Peter Cozzens

Civil War America Series

University of North Carolina Press (Hardcover, $39.95, ISBN: 0807823201)

Publication date: April 1997

A Family’s Affairs

A Novel by Ellen Douglas

Louisiana State Univ Press (Paperback, $14.95, ISBN: 0807121630)

Publication date: April 1997 (Reprint edition, originally published in 1961)

Painted Desert Painted Desert

A Novel by Frederick Barthelme

Reprint Edition

Penguin (Paperback, $11.95, ISBN: 0140242147)

Publication date: April 1997


Barthelme launches two characters from his acclaimed novel The Brothers on a wild and haunting road trip into the interactive heart of contemporary American culture. Net novitiate Jen and her channel-surfing boyfriend, Del, decide they need step out of cyberspace and take a look at the real world—from an online encounter with a psychopath to an epiphany in the Arizona desert.

Paul Robeson

A Children’s Book by Sterling Plumpp; illustrated by Adjoa J. Burrowes

Third World Press (Paperback, $5.95, ISBN: 0883780658)

Publication date: April 1997 (Reprint edition, originally published in 1961)

Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America

Nonfiction by John M. Barry

Simon & Schuster (Hardcover, $27.50, ISBN: 0684810468)

Publication date: April 1997


The author of The Ambition and the Power now dissects the story behind the great Mississippi River flood of 1927—an untold American epic of money, race, culture, and empire in New Orleans and the Delta, and of one family—the Longs—whose members ruled a state, hunted with presidents, and defeated the Ku Klux Klan.

Till We Meet Again

By Penelope J. Stokes

Tynedale House (Paperback, $10.99, ISBN: 0842308520)

Publication date: April 1997 (Reprint edition, originally published in 1961)


The continuing story of love and faith during WWII.

The opportunity to write these novels was such a gift to me — as one friend joked, “It’s not every day that a person gets the chance to rewrite her family.” These books contain everything that is important to me in my own life — love, faith, humor, and the ability to experience the divine presence in the most difficult of circumstances. My characters are quite real to me, and I trust they will become real to my readers as well.

The Richard Wright Reader Richard Wright Reader

Edited by Ellen Wright and Michel Fabre

Reprint Edition

Da Capo Press (Paperback, $22.50, ISBN: 0306807742)

Publication date: April 1997


Although it includes excerpts of only some of Richard Wright’s most famous works, such as his memoir Black Boy and his seminal novel, Native Son, this is a fine introduction to the man and his work. Edited by Wright’s wife, Ellen, and by Wright biographer Michel Fabre, the reader shows the depth and breadth of Wright’s literary legacy. Included are short stories, excerpts from novels, poetry, memoirs, journalism, and a small sampling of correspondence. Fabre provides an introduction that glosses Wright’s work and sets him in the context of his times.

The Waterborn The Waterborn

By J. Gregory Keyes

Ballantine (Mass Mark Paperback, $5.99, ISBN: 0345396707)

Publication date: April 1997


It’s that story again: unsophisticated adolescent boy, spunky, curious princess, large landscape for them to tour, troublesome deities, a magic sword. J. Gregory Keyes’s knowledge of epics, myths, and human cultures is a solid foundation for his series, making it far better than the average product: a story that might have happened sometime between the Ice Ages when numinous deities still dwelled in every tree, rock, and pool. The detailed social structures and customs feel more authentic, though they’re also familiar—the urban monotheists, the shamanistic horseback nomads, and so on. The writing is workmanlike, but the anthropological soundness and echoes of ancient stories give life and dimension to the old archetypes.

The Blackgod The Blackgod

By J. Gregory Keyes

Del Rey (Hardcover, $24.00, ISBN: 0345403940)

Publication date: April 1997


This sequel to The Waterborn doesn’t stand alone. Together these two books make a complete adventure; they’re exciting, absorbing reading. Hezhi and Perkar cannot easily resolve their respective personal, magical, and supernatural problems, and the Blackgod, Karak, has his own plans for them as well. Their battle with the Rivergod is not over and the resulting conflict on every level wracks the princess and her hero, straining their friendship and alliances with everyone. They learn to make decisions, not on impulse, but knowing the costs of their choices and accepting them.

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