Mississippi Books and Writers


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

A Homecoming for Murder A Homecoming for Murder

Fiction by John Armistead

Dell (Mass Market Paperback, $5.99, ISBN: 0440224357)

Publication date: January 1998


From the acclaimed author of A Legacy of Vengeance comes an intriguing new mystery set in tranquil Sheffield, Mississippi. The cold-blooded murder of one of the high school’s most respected teachers jerks Sheriff Grover Bramlett into a Byzantine web of deceit, forbidden love, and bank accounts, when his grandson encounters the killer face to face in the cemetery.

Uncle Jed's Barbershop Uncle Jed’s Barbershop

Juvenile Fiction by Margaree King Mitchell

Aladdin (Paperback, $5.99, ISBN: 0689819137)

Publication date: January 1998


In the segregated South of the 1920s, Uncle Jed was the only black barber in a county of sharecroppers. He always dreamed of owning his own barbershop, but his generous heart and some bad luck during the Depression forced him to defer that dream for years. Finally, on his 79th birthday, Uncle Jed opened the doors of his new shop. A Coretta Scott King Honor Book. An ALA Notable Children’s Book. Full color. Ages 4-7.

Landscapes of the Heart: A Memoir Landscapes of the Heart: A Memoir

By Elizabeth Spencer

Random House (Hardcover, $24.00, ISBN: 0679457399)

Publication date: January 1998


Conveying a unique sense of history and place, Southern novelist Elizabeth Spencer (The Salt Line, Light in the Piazza) tells of her youth in Carrollton, Mississippi, a time preserved in amber, then moves to Italy, Canada, and finally back “home” to North Carolina. Along the way, she recalls friendships with Eudora Welty and Robert Penn Warren, plus encounters with many others, including William Faulkner and Saul Bellow.

The Last Gentleman

Fiction by Walker Percy

Modern Library (Hardcover, $18.50, ISBN: 0679602720)

Publication date: January 1998


An inquisitive young Southerner—with a special gift for cultivating life’s possibilities—lives with the secret suspicion that the great world catastrophe that everyone fears will happen has already happened.

Have No Fear: The Charles Evers Story Have No Fear: The Charles Evers Story

Autobiography by Charles Evers

John Wiley & Sons (Mass Market Paperback, $5.99, ISBN: 0471246921)

Publication date: January 1998


Charles Evers’s voice resonates from the pages of his autobiography, recounting his unique perspective on America from the beginnings of the civil rights movement to recent events in American history. Evers describes his early life in the South amid the injustices of racism and the outrages of segregation. He recounts the details of the 1963 murder of his younger brother Medgar, a field secretary for the NAACP in Mississippi, and the 30 years and three trials it took to bring his murderer to justice. He tells his own stories of the movement in plain-speaking terms, giving frank assessments of characters ranging from Stokely Carmichael to George Wallace. Evers drives home his thoughts on the promises of opportunity in America and the importance of commercial success and describes his accomplishments as mayor of Fayette, Mississippi, and as an independent businessman. His memoir is an exuberant display of his triumphant character as well as an interesting perspective on the civil rights movement in America.

And All These Roads Be Luminous: Poems Selected and New And All These Roads Be Luminous: Poems Selected and New

Poems by Angela Jackson

Triquarterly Books (Paperback, $14.95, ISBN: 0810150778;

Hardcover, $39.95, ISBN: 081015076X)

Publication date: January 1998


As Angela Jackson has developed as a poet, her poetry has engaged various artistic perspectives, yet always maintains a characteristic combination of compassion, grace, and daring. Jackson moves with ease from the personal to the historical—filled alternately with wonder, righteous anger, tenderness, and a tangible intensity. Her verse is rich and passionate and brimming with poetic surprises.

Drawing from earlier works contained in the chapbooks VooDoo/Love Magic, The Greenville Club, Solo in the Boxcar Third Floor E, and The Man with the White Liver, And All These Roads Be Luminous is filled with an impressive variety of characters engaged in compelling explorations of identity, creativity, spiritual experience, and the rites and rituals of race and sexuality. Jackson moves with ease from the personal to the historical: filled alternately with wonder, righteous anger, tenderness, and a tangible intensity, Jackson’s is rich and passionate verse brimming with poetic surprises.

Crimes of the Heart

A play by Beth Henley

Dramatists Play Service (Paperback, $5.95, ISBN: 0822202506)

Publication date: January 1998

Description from The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature:

Drama in three acts by Beth Henley, produced in 1979 and published in 1982. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981. Set in a small Mississippi town, the play examines the lives of three quirky sisters who have gathered at the home of the youngest. During the course of the work the sisters unearth grudges, criticize each other, reminisce about their family life, and attempt to understand their mother’s suicide years earlier.

The New Regionalism: Essays and Commentaries The New Regionalism: Essays and Commentaries

Edited by Charles Reagan Wilson

University Press of Mississippi (Hardcover; $40.00; ISBN: 1578060133)

Publication date: October 1998

Description from the publisher:


Interest in American regions has undergone a revival since the 1970s. This book presents views of key interpreters of the South, the West, New England, and the Midwest. Although they choose differing approaches and methodologies, they collectively explore the landscapes and peoples of regional cultures that long have been a significant factor in understanding American culture.

The dynamic subject of regionalism fostered a popular and intellectual movement in the period between the world wars. Such notable figures as the sociologist Howard Odum, the historian Walter Prescott Webb, and the urban planner Lewis Mumford proposed theoretical bases for regional study and aspired to shape public policy in the New Deal era. These modernists were aware of the cultural crisis that shook western civilization after World War I. They saw regional cultures as models of the well-integrated communities that might offer hope to their disenchanted contemporaries. However, interest in regionalism declined in the 1950s, as the decade concerned itself with the view that consensus and homogenization would destroy regional identity.

Through films, television, and novels set in different regions, American popular culture kept regional cultures in the national spotlight. By the 1970s, it was clear that regions not only had survived but also continued to play a prominent role in the shaping of cultural attitudes and political thought and behavior.

The essays in this volume, papers presented at the Porter L. Fortune History Symposium at the University of Mississippi in 1993, are products of this new wave of scholarship. The New Regionalism the scholars discuss here focuses on the geography of place, the local context of differing physical environments, and the centrality of social relations that includes attention to the key concerns of race, class, and gender.

Familiar Fire Familiar Fire

By Caroline Burnes (Carolyn Haines)

Harlequin (Paperback, ISBN: 0373224524)

Publication date: January 1998

Dead Over Heels Dead Over Heels

By Charlaine Harris

Harlequin (Paperback, ISBN: 0373262604)

Publication date: January 1998


Soon after happily married Aurora Teagarden discovers her husband’s shady past, the dead body of Detective Sergeant Jack Burns is unceremoniously dumped in her backyard by a small plane and she cannot help but wonder if it is related to Martin’s secrets.

The Ghosts of Medgar Evers: A Tale of Race, Murder, Mississippi, and HollywoodThe Ghosts of Medgar Evers: A Tale of Race, Murder, Mississippi, and Hollywood

Nonfiction by Willie Morris

Random House (Paperback, $23.00, ISBN: 0679459561)

Publication date: February 1998

Description from Booklist (1 January 1998):

Everyone is a critic, except the occasional saint. The professional or citizen critic whose opinions are well publicized wields power that can be capricious, even deadly. Morris, former editor in chief of Harper’s, has written a multilayered study of the critical reception of the film Ghosts of Mississippi. Rob Reiner’s film, based on fact, is about Mississippi assistant D.A. Bobby DeLaughter (Alec Baldwin) reopening the case against Byron de la Beckwith (James Woods) for the murder of civil rights activist Medgar Evers and, with the aid of the widow Evers (Whoopi Goldberg), bringing the murderer to justice. The book reads like a series of long magazine articles. The first is a paean to a place that lives in other people’s infamy, and here Mississippian Morris introduces the idea of the subjective nature of opinion, carried through in the other “articles” about the actual filming in Mississippi and the special previews around the U.S. Finally, enter the critics. Apparently, the Variety critic was appalled at the filmmakers for making a film based on an actual event: “When future generations turn to this era’s movies for an account of the struggles for racial justice in America, they’ll learn the surprising lesson that such battles were fought and won by square-jawed white boys.” Morris writes, “Soon Rob Reiner would be like Brer Rabbit getting stuck in the Tar Baby.” Spike Lee went to the mat in protest of the “white heroes.” Roger Ebert couldn’t believe that Myrlie Evers wasn’t the star. In the end, the film failed at the box office, and Morris haunts the film’s Mississippi locations, pondering the ghosts of racial healing and progress. Copyright © 1998, American Library Association. All rights reserved

Real Power: Lessons for Business from the Tao Te Ching

By James A. Autry and Stephen Mitchell

Riverhead Books (Hardcover, ISBN: 1573220892)

Publication date: February 1998

Blues Boy: The Life and Music of B.B. King

(American Made Music Series)

By Sebastian Danchin

University Press of Mississippi (Hardcover, $28.00 ISBN: 1578060176)

Publication date: February 1998

The Street LawyerThe Street Lawyer

A Novel by John Grisham

Doubleday (Hardcover, $27.95, ISBN: 0385490992)

Publication date: February 1998


John Grisham is back with his latest courtroom conundrum, The Street Lawyer. This time the lord of legal thrillers dives deep into the world of the homeless, particularly their barely audible legal voice in a world dominated by large, all-powerful law firms. Our hero, Michael Brock, is on the fast track to partnership at D.C.’s premier law firm, Sweeny & Drake. His dream of someday raking in a million-plus a year is finally within reach. Nothing can stop him, not even 90-hour workweeks and a failing marriage—until he meets DeVon Hardy, a.k.a. “Mister,” a Vietnam vet with a grudge against his landlordand a few lawyers to fry. Hardy, with no clear motive, takes Brock and eight of his colleagues hostage in a boardroom, demanding their tax returns and interrogating them with a conviction that would have put perpetrators of the Spanish Inquisition to shame. Hardy, a man of few words and a lot of ammunition, mumbles cryptically, “Who are the evictors?” as he points a .44 automatic within inches of Brock’s face. The violent outcome of the hostage situation triggers an abrupt soul-searching for the young lawyer, and Hardy’s mysterious question continues to haunt him. Brock learns that Hardy had been in and out of homeless shelters most of his life, but he had recently begun paying rent in a rundown building; that means he has legal recourse when a big money-making outfit such as Sweeny & Drake boots him with no warning. When Brock realizes that his profession caters to the morally challenged, he sets out on an aimless search through the dicier side of D.C., ending up at the 14th Street Legal Clinic. The clinic’s director, a gargantuan man named Mordecai Green, woos Brock to the clinic with a $90,000 cut in pay and the chance to redeem his soul. Brock takes itand some of the story’s credibility along with it; it’s hard to believe that a Yale graduate who sacrificed everythingincluding his marriageto succeed in the legal profession would quickly jump at the opportunity for low-paying, charitable work. However, Brock’s search for corruption in the swanky upper echelons of Sweeny & Drake (via the toughest streets of D.C.) is filled with colorful characters and realistic, gritty descriptions. In The Street Lawyer, Grisham once again defends the voiceless and powerless. In the words of Mordecai Green, “That’s justice, Michael. That’s what street law is all about. Dignity.”

The PartnerThe Partner

A Novel by John Grisham

Dell (Paperback, $7.99, ISBN: 0440224764)

Publication date: February 1998


Patrick Lanigan had a bright future as a young partner in a prominent Southern law firm. Then one cold winter night, he was trapped in a burning car and died a horrible death; the casket they buried held nothing but his ashes. A short distance away, Patrick watched his own burial, then fled. A fortune was stolen from his ex-firm’s offshore account. Patrick ran, covering his tracks the whole waybut not far enough or fast enough. It began when he disappeared. But it really didn’t start until they found him.

Mortal FearMortal Fear

A Novel by Greg Iles

Signet (Paperback, $6.99, ISBN: 0451180410)

Publication date: February 1998


Harper Cole’s a hacker at heart, and indulges a number of vices at once by running an erotic electronic bulletin board from his country home on the Mississippi Delta. Unfortunately, a serial killer is also indulging himselfand using Harper’s service to find his victims. When Harper discovers that a woman who stopped logging on to his board has been brutally murdered in New Orleans, he goes to the police, only to find that several other former users have also died violently. Under suspicion himself, Harper must use all the online wizardry at his disposal to trick and capture a brilliant, kinky killer.

Success for Dummies

By Zig Ziglar

IDG Books Worldwide (Paperback, $19.99, ISBN: 0764550616)

Publication date: February 1998


This inspirational guide offers down-to-earth advice for measuring success in all areasat home, work, in relationships, and more. Popular motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar tells readers how to take a personal inventory of their accomplishments and determine their next set of goals. Readers benefit from simple, practical tips on improving their lives and feeling great. Cartoon illustrations.

The Destructive Element: New and Selected Poems

By Turner Cassity

Ohio University Press (Hardcover, $29.95, ISBN: 0821412213)

Publication date: February 1998

Watching Our Crops Come In Watching Our Crops Come In

Nonfiction by Clifton L. Taulbert

Penguing (Paperback, $9.95, ISBN: 0140244344)

Publication date: February 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews (1 December 1996):

A tepid recollection of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War from a man who watched both primarily from the sidelines. The third of Taulbert’s memoirs (When We Were Colored, 1989; The Last Train North, 1992), this entry follows him through the 1960s, when as an enlistee in the US Air Force, he was saved by a special assignment from having to serve in Vietnam; he was equally, he claims, “prohibited by [his] uniform from joining the fight for freedom back home.” Taulbert left the Mississippi Delta at the age of 17 to join his father in St. Louis. He joined the Air Force in 1964 and was given a “classified position” in data processing at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. From that vantage point he watched “scores of airmen shipped off to a war to ensure democracy, even though,” he notes, “it was not fully realized here at home.” During his years in the nation’s capital, he closely observed the marches and riots that tore apart the country and noted the changes wrought by the movement on his own hometown. He was astonished to see “blacks and whites working together for social change.” His mother, Mary, became the director of the local Head Start project; family members and friends became activists. An admirer of Dr. Martin Luther King, Taulbert stubbornly dismisses black power leaders such as H. Rap Brown as “northern cousins” who “had not marched in Selma or faced the dogs in Montgomery.” Well, neither did he, and his lack of involvement waters down his occasional perceptive observations. Disillusioned by the assassinations of King and Robert F. Kennedy, Taulbert regarded the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign as a grave disappointment. His lack of real engagement, his repeated references to “coloreds,” and his attribution of Brer Rabbit dialect to residents of his hometown (“ther wuz angels coming ... more than I could eber count”) will not play well with most readers. —Copyright © 1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

The FriendshipThe Friendship

By Mildred D. Taylor

Puffin (Paperback, $4.99, ISBN: 0140389644)

Publication date: February 1998 (reprint edition)

Description from Horn Book Magazine:

Eloquent in both its brevity and understatement, the story underlines the author’s skill in drawing from her family’s experiences to enlarge her readers’ understanding of a dark and still unresolved heritage.

The Gold CadillacThe Gold Cadillac: A Fancy New Car and an Unforgettable Drive

By Mildred D. Taylor

Puffin (Paperback, $4.99, ISBN: 0140389636)

Publication date: February 1998 (reprint edition)

Description from Ingram:

Lois and Wilma are proud of their father’s brand-new gold Cadillac, and excited that the family will be driving in it all the way from Ohio to Mississippi. But as they travel deeper into the rural South, there are no admiring glances for the shiny new car—only suspicion and anger for the black man behind the wheel. Black & white illustrations.

A Corpse by Any Other Name: A Stokes Moran Mystery

Fiction by Neil McGaughey

Scribner (Hardcover; $22.00; ISBN: 0684197626 )

Publication date: March 1998


As Kyle Malachi prepares for impending fatherhood, his growing alienation toward his better known alter ego Stokes Moran leads him into a rash act—he decides to kill off his fictitious rival. Everything seems fine until an actual corpse turns up with Stokes Moran’s identity. And Kyle—to keep himself out of jail for a crime he didn’t commit—must put a name to the corpse.

A name other than Stokes Moran. Any other name.

Black Flower: A Novel of the Civil War The Black Flower: A Novel of the Civil War

A Novel by Howard Bahr

Henry Holt (Paperback, $12.00, ISBN: 0805054456)

Publication date: March 1998


One of the most riveting Civil War novels since Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels, this powerful book tells the story of a young Confederate rifleman who comes under the care of a young Southern woman who, even in the midst of battle and defeat, manages to find ways to express her love. Kirkus Reviews calls Bahr’s book “an impressive debut with a haunting tale of a brief but bloody encounter on the road to Nashville…. A bleakly effective and economical account of men and women caught up in a bestial conflict.”

Listening to the Voices: Stories from the Flannery O’Connor Award

Edited by Charles East

University of Georgia Press (Paperback, $15.95, ISBN: 0820319945)

Publication date: March 1998

Blind Descent Blind Descent

A Novel by Nevada Barr

Putnam (Hardcover, $22.95, ISBN: 0399143718)

Publication date: March 1998


In Barr’s gripping new novel, park ranger Anna Pigeon faces personal demons as well as life-threatening dangers in an untamed underground wilderness. When a fellow ranger is injured in a caving accident, Anna swallows her paralyzing fear of small spaces and descends into Lechuguilla Cavern to help a friend in need.

The Glass Menagerie

A Play by Tennessee Williams

Buccaneer Books (Hardcover, ISBN: 1568496389)

Publication date: March 1998 (Reprint Edition)

Ornate with Smoke Ornate with Smoke

Poems by Sterling Plumpp

Third World Press (Paperback, $12.95, ISBN: 0883781980)

Publication date: March 1998

The Beginning The Beginning

By Patrick D. Smith
Reprint Edition (Originally published 1967)

Pineapple Press (Hardcover, $17.95, ISBN: 1561641529)

Publication date: March 1998


Just as the blacks and whites of a small Southern town think they’re moving toward racial equality, civil rights workers arrive and violence erupts. Patrick D. Smith, award-winning author, wrote The Beginning in the 1960s at the height of the Civil Rights movement. He offered an inside perspective on its effect on the people, both black and white, caught in the upheaval of the changing South. Thirty years have passed and it is time to bring this novel back to a new generation of readers to reassess the times and the decisions of those who lived through them.

Real Power: Lessons for Business from the Tao Te Ching

Nonfiction by James A. Autry and Stephen Mitchell

Putnam (Hardcover, $23.95, ISBN: 1573220892)

Publication date: April 1998

African American Inventors African American Inventors

By Otha Richard Sullivan

John Wiley (Library binding, $24.95, ISBN: 0471148040)

Reading level: Ages 9-12

Publication date: April 1998

Description from Booklist:

Although some of these inventors have had individual books written about them (Benjamin Banneker) and others have been included in other collective biographies (especially Madame C. J. Walker), there is enough variety and range to make this a worthwhile purchase. It is also a particularly engaging book to read; Sullivan highlights those aspects of the subjects’ lives that will interest readers the most and writes about them with insight. The book is attractive, too, with lots of historical engravings and photographs. Among the people profiled in the two-or three-page spreads are Garrett Morgan, who invented the gas mask; Dr. Charles Drew, who did pioneering research in blood donation; and John Moon, who developed floppy disks. Chronology; notes; bibliography. —Ilene Cooper.


The Blackgod The Blackgod

A Novel by J. Gregory Keyes

Ballantine (Mass Market Paperback, $6.99, ISBN: 0345418808)

Publication date: May 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews (15 February 1997):

Sequel to The Waterborn (1996), Keyes’s fantasy about water-gods, magic, and destiny. The Changeling is the god of the River and the city Nhol with its royal family. Though most of the time slumbering, he wakes occasionally to arrange for the breeding of a human whose body he can inhabit. That body is presently occupied also by young Princess Hezhi of Nhol, but she’s fled to the horse-warrior Mang, along with her protector, Perkar, and his magic sword, Harka. Hezhi’s only hope of long-term survival is to kill the River, but to do this she must reach his source beneath the remote mountain She’leng; offering assistance is the powerful but untrustworthy Blackgod. The River, however, is determined to recapture Hezhi and send forth Ghe, an assassin once slain by Perkar, now reanimated and given magic powers to absorb ghosts and gods. To complicate matters, other parties have their own agendas. Eventually, She’leng is the scene of a mighty but baffling struggle in which various entities die, though some come back to life, and everything is resolved—to the author’s satisfaction if not the reader’s. An often strikingly imaginative but unedifyingly overcomplicated yarn that could’ve used a vigorous pruning and a stiff dose of logic; still, Waterborn fans will be jubilant. —Copyright © 1997 Kirkus Associates, LP.

The Correspondence of Shelby Foote and Walker Percy The Correspondence of Shelby Foote and Walker Percy

Letters by Shelby Foote and Walker Percy, Edited by Jay Tolson

W.W. Norton (Paperback, $14.00, ISBN: 0393317684)

Publication date: May 1998


In the late 1940s, Percy and Foote, friends since their teenage years in Greenville, Mississippi, began a correspondence that would last until Percy’s death in 1990. For this volume, Jay Tolson has selected, edited, and annotated the letters of these two remarkable writers to shed light on their relationship and their literary careers.

Geronimo Rex Geronimo Rex

A Novel by Barry Hannah

Grove Press (Paperback, $12.00, ISBN: 0802135692)

Publication date: May 1998


Barry Hannah’s first novel, Geronimo Rex, was awarded the William Faulkner Prize and nominated for the National Book Award. The novel depicts the life story of its main character, Harriman Monroe, from age 8 in Dream of Pines, Louisiana, to age 23, when he is newly married and enrolled in the graduate English program at the University of Arkansas. Inspired by the great Geronimo’s brash, outrageous rampage through the Old West, Harry takes on the American South of the 1950s and ’60s. Alongside the sex, love, lies, and lunacies of adolescent awakening, Harry also faces a world plagued by violent reality and giddy—like Harry himself—with a sense of unlimited possibility.

Endangered Species Endangered Species

A Novel by Nevada Barr

Avon (Paperback, $6.99, ISBN: 0380725835)

Publication date: May 1998

Description from Booklist (February 15, 1997):

Barr’s tough, likable park ranger heroine, Anna Pigeon, is back in another high-spirited outdoors adventure/mystery. Sent to isolated Cumberland Island National Seashore off the coast of Georgia on summer fire patrol, Anna is bored despite the natural beauty of the area. Then the seashore’s local ranger and his pilot are killed when their small plane crashes on the island. When Anna and her crew investigate, they find the plane was sabotaged. Anna develops a list of possible suspects, including some of her own crew. When the killer is finally revealed, even the usually unflappable Anna is shocked by the desperate cold-bloodedness of the crime. Anna’s no-nonsense view of life, unorthodox career, strong opinions, secret vulnerability, and soft heart make her unique among today’s current crop of female sleuths. Readers like Anna, and they like Barr’s engaging mysteries, which are as entertaining and thought provoking as they are fun to read. —Copyright © 1997 American Library Assocation.

The Moviegoer The Moviegoer

A Novel by Walker Percy

Vintage (Paperback, $12.00, ISBN: 0375701966)

Publication date: May 1998


A winner of the National Book Award, this tale of a small-time stockbroker in search of something more—a “certified reality” that eludes him everywhere except at the movies—established Percy as an insightful and grimly humorous storyteller. This elegantly written account of a young man’s search for signs of purpose in the universe is one of the great existential texts of the postwar era and is really funny besides. Binx Bolling, inveterate cinemaphile, contemplative rake and man of the periphery, tries hedonism and tries doing the right thing, but ultimately finds redemption (or at least the prospect of it) by taking a leap of faith and quite literally embracing what only seems irrational.

Have No Fear: The Charles Evers Story Have No Fear: The Charles Evers Story

Nonfiction by Charles Evers

John Wiley & Sons (Paperback, $12.95, ISBN: 0471296945)

Publication date: May 1998

Description from Booklist (1 September 1996)

The night in 1963 when Medgar Evers was shot was also the night John Kennedy gave perhaps his most powerful televised speech on civil rights. Evers’ murder made him a civil rights hero only slightly less well remembered than Martin and Malcolm, though it took more than 30 years and three trials to convict shooter Byron de la Beckwith. Older brother Charles shared Medgar’s commitment and activism but was also, as this memoir reveals, a businessman and sometime hustler interested in making lots of money; Medgar’s idealism often would have left his family short of cash without Charles’ help. Charles Evers’ entrepreneurial activities, legal and illegal, may explain his support for GOP solutions to many social problems. In addition, relationships he developed, as an activist and as the first African American mayor of Fayette, Mississippi, with presidents and other politicians may also have pushed him in this direction. Now past 70, Evers delivers his strong opinions as a talk radio host and, in Have No Fear, tells the story of his life, which is also inevitably a portrait of his martyred brother, of the Mississippi civil rights movement, and of the nation itself. —Copyright © 1996 American Library Association.

Newton's Cannon Newton’s Cannon

A Novel by J. Gregory Keyes

The Age of Unreason, Book One

Del Rey (Paperback, $14.00, ISBN: 0345406052)

Publication date: May 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews:

First of a new fantasy series: In this alternate 1715, both science and alchemy work; young Ben Franklin, apprenticed to his printer brother James in Boston, begins to study the various alchemical devices—lights, weapons, faxes, and so on—that Isaac Newton has invented. Ben accidentally intercepts a communication on the “aether-schreiber”’ and helps solve the mathematical problem posed therein by an unknown scientist.

Soon, however, Ben’s being haunted by a weird, insubstantial demon that demands he cease his researches. Britain and France, meanwhile, fight a war using alchemical weapons. In France, Louis XIV, having taken an immortality serum and survived an assassination attempt, has been taken over by a demon, or malakus, like Ben’s. Nicolas Fatio de Duillier, a vengeful ex-student of Newton’s, uses Ben’s formula to alchemically attract a comet from space towards London. Scientific genius Adrienne de Montchevreuil, forced to become the king’s mistress, and helped by a secret society of women, labors to discover what Fatio has done.

Ben, threatened by his malakus, flees to London to warn Newton; the latter, preoccupied with unmasking a traitor, can’t stop or divert the comet. London is annihilated after a hasty evacuation, Ben becomes Newton’s apprentice, and Louis’s malakus moves on to beguile Czar Peter of Russia.

Keyes’s yarn (The Blackgod, 1997, etc.) is colorful, intriguing, and well handled, if somewhat difficult to swallow: Its hard to see how alchemy and science could both work. —Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Women with Men: Three Stories Women with Men: Three Stories

By Richard Ford

Vintage (Paperback, $12.00, ISBN: 0679776680)

Publication date: May 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews (15 May 1997):

A reader meeting Ford via these three pieces might wonder why laurels of the Pulitzer and PEN/Faulkner kind have befallen this (The Sportswriter, 1986; Independence Day, 1995) particular writer. He here offers two grinding tales of distasteful Americans in Paris and one clone-of-Hemingway story about a boyhood in Montana. In “The Womanizer,” Martin Austin, married but childless, becomes interested in a Frenchwoman named Josephine when he’s in Paris on business. The difficulty is—for Austin and for the reader—that he seems not to know what he wants either with her or from her, with the result that Ford offers page after page of clunky vacuity as if simply to put something between start and the end of the story (“He wasn’t looking for a better life. He wasn’t looking for anything. He loved his wife, and he hoped to present to Josephine Belliard a different human perspective from the ones she might be used to”). More revelatory in this unrelenting non-tale is what Ford says of Austin later—that “very little pleased him much at all.” The main character in “Occidentals” is, if anything, even more dreary than Austin. Ex-academic Charley Matthews has written a novel about his divorce and is now quite joylessly in Paris—with mistress Helen—to meet his French publisher and translator. Trouble is, as he quickly discovers, both are out of town for a few days, so he’ll have to wait. Helen—a lively ex-dancer who’s suffering from cancer—tries to cheer him up; he grows only more hatefully dour, though, until she takes things—perhaps believably to some—into her own hands. “Jealousy” makes for a breath of fresh air with its Montana landscape and Hemingway-esque economies—as a boy, accompanied by his attractive young aunt, witnesses a saloon killing on a snowy night before catching a train to Seattle. Scraps and leavings, seemingly, caught between the labored and the imitated. —Copyright © 1997, Kirkus Associates, LP.

Cruel as the Grave: A Sheriff Bramlett Mystery

A Novel by John Armistead

Dell (Paperback, $5.99, ISBN: 0440224373)

Publication date: June 1998


Bramlett keeps tabs on the country roads of Chakchiuma County, rich folks as well as poor, white as well as black. When a salesman is gunned down in the sleepy town of Sheffield, the sheriff digs into clues that connect the victim to an unsolved murder case that has perplexed Bramlett for three years. Digging deeper into witnesses’ memories, Bramlett heads for the dangerous territory where race, passion, and hatred meet and a ruthless killer awaits.

Breaking Through to the Next Level

Nonfiction by Zig Ziglar

Honor Books (Paperback, $6.99, ISBN: 1562924958)

Publication date: June 1998

Dreamer: A Novel

By Jack Butler

Knopf (Hardcover, $25.00, ISBN: 0679446656)

Publication date: June 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews (May 11, 1998):

The author of two send-ups of southern politics, Jujitsu for Christ (1986) and Living in Little Rock with Miss Little Rock (1993), as well as a well-received SF novel, Nightshade (1989), makes another departure: a thriller centered on dream research. With a little help from a pharmaceutical company, Jody Nightwood has set up her dream research lab with her old friend Toni in Santa Fe. The two treat sleep disorders such as apnea and insomnia by day, while Jody records and analyzes dreams by night—her own dreams included. She hopes to develop a sort of unified field theory of dreaming, finally dislodging Freud’s notions that dreams have to do with the issues facing us while we are awake, and also that they’re mostly about sex. Jung’s archetypes and idea of a collective unconscious enjoy more successful currency in trendy Santa Fe, and Butler has a good time satirizing not only Jung but regressive therapy, channeling, militant vegetarianism, Carlos Casteñeda, and language poetry. Much of what Butler has to say about dreams is compelling, and when malevolent aspects of Jody’s dreams begin to dominate even her waking life, every reader will be intrigued. Unfortunately, though, Butler also layers on a trite thriller plot in which a CIA maverick, Benjamin George, assigns two klutzy gay men to tail Jody and invade her computer files, etc., because Benjamin has a theory that true artificial intelligence will be achieved once dreams can be programmed into it. Meanwhile, a rival set of spies bump into Benjamin’s own, but it’s hard to care, since these are only stock characters and Benjamin’s theory never seemed plausible in the first place. Anyone drawn to Butler’s sometimes poetic considerations of dreaming will simply be irritated. The espionage plot, which Butler handles poorly, doesn’t graft well with his novel of ideas, which he handles well. Copyright © 1998, Kirkus Associates, LP.

Not About Nightingales

A Play by Tennessee Williams, edited by Allean Hale

New Directions (Paperback, $10.95, ISBN: 0811213803)

Publication date: June 1998

A Pirate Looks at Fifty

Nonfiction by Jimmy Buffett

Random House (Hardcover, $24.95, ISBN: 0679435271)

Publication date: June 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews (15 June 1998):

This first nonfiction outing from singer/songwriter Buffett (Where Is Joe Merchant?, 1992, etc.) is more food for his Parrothead fans, but there is some fine writing along with the self-revelation. Half autobiography and half travelogue, this volume recounts a trip by Buffett and his family to the Caribbean over one Christmas holiday to celebrate the writer’s 50th birthday. Buffett is a licensed pilot, and his personal weakness is for seaplanes, so it’s primarily in this sort of craft that the family’s journey takes place. While giving beautiful descriptions of the locales to which he travels (including a very attractive portrait of Key West, from which he sets out), Buffett intersperses recollections of his first, short-lived marriage, his experiences in college and avoiding the Vietnam draft, and his brief employment at Billboard magazine’s Nashville bureau before becoming a professional musician. In the meantime, he carries his reader seamlessly through the Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Colombia, the Amazon basin, and Trinidad and Tobago. Buffett shows that he is a keen observer of Latin American culture and also that he can “pass in these surroundings when he needs to. It’s perhaps on this latter point that this book finds its principal weakness. Buffett tends toward preachiness in addressing his mostly landlubber readers, as when he decries the seeming American inability to learn a second language while most Caribbeans can speak English; elsewhere he attacks “ugly Americans out there making it harder for us more-connected-to-the-local-culture types. On the other hand, he seems right on the money when he observes that the drug war of the 1980s did little to stop trafficking in the area and that turning wetlands into helicopter pads for drug agents isn’t going to offer any additional help. Both Parrotheads and those with a taste for the Caribbean find something for their palates here.

—Copyright © 1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

When First We Deceive

A Novel by Charles Wilson

Leisure Books (Paperback, $4.50, ISBN: 0843944013)

Publication date: June 1998 (Reprint Edition)

Where the Sea Used to Be

A Novel by Rick Bass

Houghton Mifflin (Hardcover, $25.00, ISBN: 0395770157)

Publication date: June 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews:

In sensuous descriptive prose whose incantatory rhythms invite comparison with both Lawrence and Faulkner, Bass tells a take of familial, sexual, and in a way, fraternal conflict among four uneasily related characters who are, simultaneously, denizens, preservers, and destroyers of Montana’s north country near the Canadian border. Old Dudley is a veteran oil driller who sends Wallis, a young geologist in his employ, to that wilderness to seek oil. It’s an expression of Dudley’s power, as is well known by his 40ish daughter Mel, a schoolteacher and naturalist who “follows the lives of wolves, and by Wallis’s predecessor (and Mel’s former lover) Matthew — and as will be learned by Wallis, a young Texan still mourning the deaths of his loved ones. Though the wary relationship of Wallis and Mel (his host, and mentor in this strange new world) is delineated with great skill, and though the story of their slowly developing closeness is punctuated by vividly rendered episodes (digging a limousine out of the snow, observing a summer drought and an ensuing forest fire), the story is essentially an extended meditation on the prickly, necessary interrelationship of man and the natural world. Variety is provided by a handful of lively townspeople (reminiscent of TV’s Northern Exposure) and by lengthy excerpts from old Dudley’s notebooks (as Wallis reads them), which comprise an almost mystical interpretation of how the earth’s physical features were formed (“It’s kind of like the Bible, Dudley explains). But one reads this novel for such descriptive passages as this: “Flaming trees and burning snags and limbs...falling like swords with whiffs of sound like the cutting of paper with sharp scissors.”

The story’s drama builds not through action per se, but from the intensity of its characters’ observations of themselves and of the exterior world that nutures, tests, and reshapes them. Read it slowly, and it won’t let go of you.

Jackson: The Good Life

By Walt Grayson

Towery (Hardcover, $44.95, ISBN: 1881096572)

Publication date: June 1998


“When pressed by the question, ‘Well, what is so great about Jackson?’ we’re stuck for superlatives. We don’t have the South’s tallest buildings or the largest population or the most money. Yet, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of things about this town that we like, or we wouldn’t bother to live here.”

So says our storyteller and broadcaster Walt Grayson in Jackson: The Good Life as he sets out to name a few of the many elements that make his adopted hometown such a fascinating place. It’s a crossroads city, where cultures merge and creative forces are born. It’s also the state capital, with all the power and prestige that comes with being the seat of Mississippi’s government.

Put these forces together, writes Grayson, and you end up with a city that is rich and diverse—“a big old country town” that is quickly outgrowing its Deep South roots to become one of the New South’s most desirable locales.

Aided by hundreds of outstanding images collected by photography editor Gib Ford, Grayson creates a mosaic of tales and images that help define what makes Jackson such a special place to call home.

“Only when you put all of the parts together does a total picture emerge.” Grayson concludes, “It’s like experiencing a kaleidoscope: It’s the overall pattern formed from all of the many changing colors that you’re really seeing.” Take a closer look, and you too can experience the good life that Grayson and his fellow Jacksonians already know so well.

Pioneer Women: The Lives of Women on the Frontier

Nonfiction by Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith

University of Oklahoma Press (Paperback, $16.05, ISBN: 0806130547)

Publication date: June 1998

Description from Booklist :

The rarely seen and startlingly vital black-and-white photographs in this volume capture the fortitude and pride of the clear-eyed women of the frontier, women who had to practice all the tender arts of nurturing a family under the most rugged of circumstances. Peavy and Smith cut through all the myths of frontier life in their frank and engaging commentary, getting down to the cold, gritty facts under such headings as “Keeping Spirits Up,” “Night Fears,” “Warding Off Insects and Animals,” and “Little Ones Lost.” This litany alludes to the loneliness and isolation of pioneer existence, where every act, from securing clean drinking water to making clothes, required long, hard labor, and where pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood often involved as much tragedy as joy. Little-discussed issues, such as marriages between Anglo men and Indian and Hispanic women, are examined, as are the lives of women who found employment outside the homestead as teachers, physicians, businesswomen, journalists, and even prostitutes. A book as fresh and inspiring as a bright, breezy day on the plains. —Donna Seaman

Second Thoughts: A Focus on Rereading

Edited by David Galef

Wayne State University Press (Paperback, $24.95, ISBN: 0814326471)

Publication date: July 1998


How does our perspective change after the first reading? What distortions emerge through repetition? How do we determine what's worth rereading, and what is the role of such repetition in our lives? What are the gains and losses? Second Thoughts answers these questions and investigates the phenomenon of rereading narrative texts from various genres. Contributors of this volume explore rereading children's literature, rereading Proust, how rereading functions in the oral tradition, and why so many people reread romances. Essays range from rereading Shakespeare and Spenser to rereading on a desert island and the rereading of hypertext.

Divorce Boxing

Poetry by David Chapman Berry

Eastern Washington University Press (Hardcover, ISBN: 0910055432)

Publication date: July 1998

Auqustus Baldwin Longstreet’s ‘Georgia Scenes’ Completed

Edited by David Rachels

University of Georgia Press (Paperback, $19.95, ISBN: 0820320196)

Publication date: August 1998

Confessions of a  Grieving Christian Confessions of a Grieving Christian

By Zig Ziglar

Thomas Nelson (Hardcover, $17.99, ISBN: 0840791828)

Publication date: August 1998


Bestselling author Zig Ziglar tells his personal story of loss, grief, and renewal in this comforting and encouraging book.

A Land Remembered A Land Remembered

By Patrick D. Smith

Reprint Edition (Originally published 1984)

Pineapple Press (Paperback, $12.95, ISBN: 1561641162)

Publication date: August 1998


In this best-selling novel, now accessible to young readers, Patrick Smith tells the story of three generations of the MacIveys, a Florida family who battle the hardships of the frontier to rise from a dirt-poor Cracker life to the wealth and standing of real estate tycoons. The story opens in 1858, when Tobias MacIvey arrives in the Florida wilderness to start a new life, and ends in 1968 with Solomon MacIvey, who realizes that the land has been exploited far beyond human need. Between is a sweeping story rich in Florida history.

A teacherís manual is available for using A Land Remembered to teach language arts, social studies, and science coordinated with the Sunshine State Standards of the Florida Department of Education.

Forever Island and Allapattah Forever Island and Allapattah

By Patrick D. Smith
Reprint Edition (Originally published 1973, 1979)

Pineapple Press (Hardcover, $18.95, ISBN: 0910923426)

Publication date: August 1998


Turning Japanese

A Novel by David Galef

Permanent Press (Hardcover, $24, ISBN: 1579620108)

Publication date: September 1998

Description from Booklist (19 August 1998):

Spending a year in Japan after graduating from Cornell in the late 1970s was Cricket Collins’ plan. But the year stretched to almost five because it was all so seductive: the work (teaching conversational English) was plentiful and profitable; the controlled society (which allowed foreigners a certain latitude) was appealing; and he liked the food. Increasingly immersed in a culture so different from his own, Collins eventually fits in neither. The problem with viewing the expatriate experience through the lens of this protagonist is that Collins is less than stable to begin with. He grew up solitary, the only child of a mother who died when he was nine and a distant father, and in Japan he commits acts of petty theft, hears—and answers—voices in his head of persons living and dead, and finally shouts insults at his students. So it is no surprise that his story turns dark. Interesting from a cross-cultural standpoint but ultimately lacking uplift. Review By Michele Leber. —Copyright © 1998, American Library Association. All rights reserved.

The Sky, the Stars, The Wilderness The Sky, the Stars, the Wilderness

Fiction by Rick Bass

Mariner Books (Paperback, $12.00, ISBN: 0395924758)

Publication date: September 1998


About the wilderness, I need some persuading. Yet at their best the three novellas in The Sky, the Stars, the Wilderness provide that persuasion. Varied in their settings and characters, unified in their mood and central concerns, they offer an unsentimental but ecstatic portrayal of the physical world. (Michael Gorra, The New York Times Book Review)

The three novellas that constitute The Sky, the Stars, the Wilderness resonate with the myriad links, like perceptions of space and time, that connect viewer and viewed, subject and object, and persistently complicate such points of view. Each link is only relative, but each represents on an elemental level an attempt to bridge the gap between the ineffable awe and apartness that nature invokes…. In this poignant meditation, Bass has carved a curious and meaningful niche for himself among nature writers. (Thomas Curwen, The Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review)

Divorce Boxing

Poetry by David Chapman Berry

University of Washington Press (Paperback, $14.00, ISBN: 0910055432)

Publication date: September 1998

My Brother Bill

Biography by John Faulkner

Hill Street Press (Paperback, $16.50, ISBN: 1892514001)

Publication date: September 1998 (Reprint Edition)

Sarah Conley: A Novel Sarah Conley: A Novel

Fiction by Ellen Gilchrist

Little Brown & Company (Paperback, $13.00, ISBN: 0316314927)

Publication date: September 1998


In her 15th book, Ellen Gilchrist offers the story of a woman charting the middle passages of a rich and turbulent life. Sarah Conley is an editor at Time magazine and a successful novelist, but her progress is checked by her unresolved past: as the novel opens, an old love for her best friend’s husband is rekindled.... Unfortunately, while Gilchrist raises themes worthy of good fiction, she develops them with strategies better suited to soap opera. (Patrick Giles, The New York Times Book Review)

Flights of Angels Flights of Angels

Short stories by Ellen Gilchrist

Little, Brown, & Company (Hardcover, $24.00, ISBN: 0316314862)

Publication date: September 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews (15 August 1998):

Gilchrist rounds up the usual suspects “and a few newcomers” in an uneven but always readable eighth collection. Yes, Rhoda, many of the other Mannings, and their various cousins are back: since In the Land of Dreamy Dreams (1981), they have provided Gilchrist with a convenient, semi-autobiographical framework through which to explore both the madness of family ties and the violent yet homey atmosphere of the American South. But a number of new, generally younger characters give the collection this time a shot in the arm: Gilchrist displays a nice grasp of the apprehensive yet anticipatory, all-possibilities-are-open attitude of young adults in “Excitement at Drake Field,” “The Southwest Experimental Fast Oxide Reactor,” and a series of stories about teenager Aurora Harris, though she can’t resist immersing these people too in intricate family and social networks. (Southerners like Gilchrist, it seems, don’t do alienation “just the mingled security and oppression of an omnipresent support/undermine system.”) The author’s political opinions, more openly displayed than usual, also give bite to some lazy writing. Gilchrist slings adjectives with abandon (“fine young smooth thick golden beloved skin”), and the impact of a tough, uncompromising lie about Aurora’s decision to have an abortion (“The Triumph of Reason”) is blunted “for the attentive reader” by the fact that the subsequent linked story is dated three months earlier in 1997 but, by internal evidence, takes place ten months later. Too bad, because “Have a Wonderful Nice Walk” has some delicious humor and a vintage Gilchrist line: “Well, that’s the past and the past is a swamp where we wander at our peril.” Nonetheless, her characters wander there frequently, and for the most part we’re glad they do. Gilchrist has always excelled in delineating smart, sexy, crazy people struggling to come to terms with a legacy of beloved, bewildering progenitors. A mixed bag, but Gilchrist’s emotional candor and gift for storytelling make it appealing. —Copyright © 1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Mule Trader: Ray Lum’s Tales of Horses, Mules and Men

By William R. Ferris, foreword by Eudora Welty

University Press of Mississippi (Paperback, $16.00, ISBN: 1578060869)

Publication date: September 1998


First published in 1992 as You Live and Learn. Then You Die and Forget It All, Mule Trader preserves the true story of Ray Lum (1891-1979), a mule skinner, a livestock trader, an auctioneer, and an American original. Recorded over several years, the book captures Lum’s colorful folk dialect as well as Lum’s natural storytelling technique.

Veneer: Stories

Fiction by Steve Yarbrough

University of Missouri Press (Paperback, $17.95, ISBN: 0826211852)

Publication date: September 1998


Fellow Mississippi writer Lewis Nordan writes, “Steve Yarbrough’s work dazzles me in every way. The Mississippi that he writes about is not one of racist sheriffs and magnolias but of offshore gambling and movie stars and forty-dollar steaks; its veneer is no less glittering than the California he writes about with equal skill and insight, and what is revealed beneath these American surfaces is the sad depths of our common humanity. Yarbrough is a thoroughly American writer, and the news of his superior talent needs to be heralded throughout this land that he writes of with such compassion and love.”

Welty: Complete Novels Eudora Welty: Complete Novels

Fiction by Eudora Welty, edited by Richard Ford and Michael Kreyling

Library of America (Hardcover, $35.00, ISBN: 188301154X)

Publication date: September 1998


This two-volume collection reveals the singular imaginative power of one of America’s most admired Southern writers. Complete Novels gathers all of Welty’s longer fiction, from The Robber Bridegroom (1942) to her Pulitzer Prize-winning The Optimist’s Daughter (1972).

Welty: Stories, Essays, and Memoir Eudora Welty: Stories, Essays and Memoir

Fiction by Eudora Welty, edited by Richard Ford and Michael Kreyling

Library of America (Hardcover, $35, ISBN: 1883011558)

Publication date: September 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews: (June 15, 1998)

The Library’s first publication of the work of a living author efficiently showcases the universally praised fiction of a southern regionalist whose early stories were championed by such notable contemporaries as Katherine Anne Porter and Robert Penn Warren. The Stories volume includes 41 pungent and resonant tales (counting as individual stories the seven chapters of Welty’s 1949 masterpiece, The Golden Apples) that unforgettably display their creator’s sure grasp of racy local idiom and color (“Why I Live at the P.O.,” “Powerhouse”), compassionate scrutiny of social inequity and racist violence (the fable-like “A Worn Path” and the furious “Where is the Voice Coming From?”), and mischievous inventive power (“Petrified Man,” “The Wide Net”). The companion edition, Complete Novels (ISBN 1-883011-54-X), conveniently gathers together works that, while generally less known than Welty’s stories, often equal their structural concision and thematic clarity. Most deserving of a second look, perhaps, are the rueful country comedy The Ponder Heart (1954) and the best family-reunion novel ever written…. Welty, who’s 90 and still lives in (her birthplace) Jackson, Mississippi, has understandably produced little new work in recent years. But her supple, funny, gently judging voice is heard again to stunning effect throughout this indispensable homage to one of our greatest writers. —Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

What I Learned on the Way to the Top What I Learned on the Way to the Top

Nonfiction by Zig Ziglar

Honor Books (Hardcover, $15.99, ISBN: 1562925423)

Publication date: September 1998


High-impact quotes and stories, peppered with Ziglar’s patented humor.

Black Boy Black Boy

Autobiography by Richard Wright, introduction by Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

Harperperennial Library (Paperback, $10.00, ISBN: 0060929782)

Publication date: September 1998


Black Boy is a classic of American autobiography, a subtly crafted narrative of Richard Wright’s journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow South. An enduring story of one young man’s coming off age during a particular time and place, Black Boy remains a seminal text in our history about what it means to be a man, black, and Southern in America.

Native Son Native Son

A Novel by Richard Wright

Harperperennial (Paperback, $10, ISBN: 0060929804)

Publication date: September 1998


Richard Wright’s Native Son is an essential text of African-American literature and a great piece of reading. The novel is the tragic story of Bigger Thomas, a hard-working, honest black man trying to get by in the white man’s world. When he takes a job as a chauffeur for a wealthy white family with a left-leaning college-age daughter, he sees trouble inexplicably coming his way. How it happens will leave you spellbound, and will also show how a person with the best intentions can be trapped in a noose of race and class.

Haiku Haiku: This Other World

By Richard Wright, edited by Yoshinobu Hakatuni and Robert L. Tener

Arcade (Hardcover, $23.50, ISBN: 1559704454)

Publication date: September 1998

Description from Library Journal (September 15, 1998):

Historian John Henrik Clarke once described Wright as “writing with a sledgehammer,” and the powerful early works Native Son (1940) and Black Boy (1945) bear that out. But in the last creations of his life, he wrote as if with a gentle quill pen. During his final illness in France in 1960, Wright happened upon an English translation of Japanese haiku. Fascinated by the form, he began writing in it himself, producing over 4000 poems. Before his death, he selected 810 for publication, and now nearly 40 years later they are newly in print. Wright adheres strictly to the formal structure (three lines, five-seven-five syllables per line) and to the notion that the season of the year must be stated or implied. The poems are simple, Zenlike treasures:


As my delegate

The spring wind has its fingers

In a young girl’s hair.


For seven seconds

The steam from the train whistle

Blew out the spring moon.

The collection has a melancholy air, perhaps a reflection of Wright’s failing health and expatriate status. Highly recommended.

—Judy Clarence

Children of the Dark House

Nonfiction by Noel Polk

University Press of Mississippi (Paperback, $18.00, ISBN: 1578061032)

Publication date: September 1998


This book collects choice selections of Polk’s criticism of William Faulkner from the past fifteen years. Its publication and underscores the significance of Polk’s indispensable work in Faulkner studies, both in criticism and in the editing of Faulkner’s texts. In the title essay, his focus is mainly upon the context of Freudian themes, expressly in the works written between 1927 and 1932, the period in which Faulkner wrote and ultimately revised Sanctuary, a novel to which Polk has given concentrated study during his distinguished career. He has connected the literature with the life in a way not achieved in previous criticism. Although other critics, notably John T. Irwin and André Bleikasten, have explored Oedipal themes, neither perceived them operating so completely at the center of Faulkner’s work as Polk does in this essay.

Citizen Soldiers Citizen Soldiers

Nonfiction by Stephen E. Ambrose

Touchstone Books (Paperback, $16.00, ISBN: 0684848015)

Publication date: September 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews (1 September 1997):

A worthy sequel to Ambrose’s 1994 D-Day. Bestselling historian Ambrose (Undaunted Courage, 1996) uses firsthand recollections of combat veterans on both sides to flesh out his well-researched narrative. He picks up the epic drama by following, almost step by step, various individuals and outfits among the tens of thousands of young Allied soldiers who broke away from the deadly beaches of Normandy and swept across France to the Ardennes, fought the Battle of the Bulge, captured the famed bridge at Remagen, and crossed the wide Rhine to final victory in Europe. Ambrose observes that the U.S. broke the Nazi war machine with massive aerial bombing, artillery, and the great mobility of attacking tanks and infantry. But, he argues, it was not technology but the valor and character of the young GIs and their European counterparts that ultimately proved too much for the vaunted German forces. While generally approving of Allied military leadership, Ambrose faults Eisenhower and Bradley as too conservative and believes the great human and materiel cost of victory could have been reduced by adopting Patton’s more innovative and bolder knockout movements. He deplores the sending of inadequately trained 18-year-olds as replacements on the front lines, where they suffered much higher casualty rates than the foxhole-wise GI veterans. The troops fought under the worst possible conditions in the Ardennes, during the worst winter in 40 years; Ambrose describes the long, freezing snowy nights; the wounds, frostbite, and trench foot; and the fatigue and the tensions of facing sudden death or maiming. The troops rallied to drive the enemy back to the Rhine and into Germany, but took some 80,000 casualties. With remarkable immediacy and clarity, as though he had trained a telescopic lens on the battlefields, Ambrose offers a stirring portrayal of the terror and courage experienced by men at war. —Copyright © 1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

The New WolvesThe New Wolves

Nonfiction by Rick Bass

Lyons Press (Hardcover, $18.95, ISBN: 1558216979)

Publication date: October 1998

Description from Book List:

“I’d rather try to protect an undesignated wilderness area … than spend energy on lobbying for the return of some single species,” Bass declares, describing plans for the release of nearly a dozen Mexican wolves (lobos) in the Blue Mountains of Arizona. Concern for the larger ecosystem is clear as Bass scans the overgrazed Arizona environment, scientists’ efforts to ready wolves raised in captivity for the wild, and the positions of ranchers and environmentalists. Here, as in The Ninemile Wolves (1992) and The Sky, the Stars, the Wilderness, Bass’ involving descriptions of the lobos and their home in the mountains explain the interaction between species preservation and ecological recovery. Committed as this skilled nature writer is to restoration of the wilderness and endangered species, he urges attention to broader issues: “We must take care of the wolves and yet concern ourselves, too, with the rest of the system ... without compromising our beliefs and values.” —Mary Carroll.


Fiction by Rick Bass, Illustrated by Elizabeth Hughes Bass

University of Georgia Press (Hardcover, $15.95, ISBN: 0820320633)

Publication date: October 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews:

This is the first separate publication of a fierce plea for the preservation of nature, in the guise of a short story, originally published in the anthology Off the Beaten Path: Stories of Place. The themes raised here will come as no surprise to fans of Bass’s work as a novelist and essayist; wild nature still offers, for those willing to seek it, a “blessed landscape,” diverse and instructive beauty, and a reanimating strength. The protagonist of the tale lives (as does Bass) in the Yaak Valley of northwestern Montana, a region still largely wild but also profoundly endangered by logging and the threat of development. As a kind of defiance of both the loggers and the capricious federal government, Bass’s narrator makes a slender living by cutting down already damaged trees in the wilderness areas, sometimes going so far as to deposit them on the doorstep of an unsuspecting logger. The plot, however, is not much developed. In essence, the tale is simply another version of Bass’s clearly heartfelt plea for people to organize to protect the Yaak, a wildly beautiful area in danger of being destroyed by logging. An appendix on “What You Can Do” instructs readers on how to get involved. Fiber offers, for those requiring it, further evidence that Bass is rapidly becoming one of our preeminent writers on the environment. A strong, sad piece of work. (Illustrations by Elizabeth Hughes Bass, the author’s wife) —Copyright © 1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Truth: Four Stories I Am Finally Old Enough to TellTruth: Four Stories I Am Finally Old Enough to Tell

By Ellen Douglas

Algonquin (Hardcover, $18.95, ISBN: 1565122143)

Publication date: October 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews:

Earnest, searching inquiry into family and regional history “and the pivotal but mutable role memory plays in both” by one of the true grand dames of southern letters. Douglas, author of seven books of fiction (Can’t Quit You Baby, 1988; A Lifetime Burning, 1982; The Rock Cried Out, 1979;) turns to nonfiction, though her musings on the connections between life and art demonstrate how unsatisfactory genre classifications can be. As the narrative moves backward in time (each selection exploring an earlier period than the preceding one), the style changes from fiction to personal essay. “Grant,” about a terminally ill uncle who moved in with Douglas’s family, is a textbook example of the short story form. “Julia and Nellie” is a long, convoluted (and sometimes confusing) exploration of the tangled allegiances among small-town Southern families. The book is a kind of owning up: Douglas tells stories that, for reasons from personal shame to a need to protect relatives, she couldn’t tell as a young woman. Striving to settle accounts, to discover a personal or historical truth, she runs up against her instincts as a novelist “an urge to extract meaning by fictionalizing, to imagine the cause of events” which clash with her desire to record or discover what really happened. In some instances she’s able (even willing) to invent. Mulling over the “ancient romance” at the heart of “Julia and Nellie,” she dreams up several explanations for the scandalous common-law marriage of distant cousins, then rejects them as too romantic. In others (“Hampton” and “On Second Creek,” in which she strives to understand the 1861 massacre of slaves belonging to her family), neither her fictionalizing nor the spotty family record is enough to fill in the missing links. Slightly more valuable for its insight into Douglas’s fiction than for what it says about history’s subjective biases. —Copyright © 1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

A Complicated Situation

Fiction by Jane Mullen

Southern Methodist University Press (Paperback, $19.95, ISBN: 0870744313)

Publication date: October 1998

Brief Review:

The nine stories of A Complicated Situation chart the complexities of human relationships and the ironies engendered by the ambivalences of the heart: A young girl’s father has died, obliging her mother to take in a series of boarders, the last of whom, one with a damaging secret, inadvertently drives a wedge between mother and daughter. An elderly man leaves the large midwestern house in which he has raised his family for a small room in his daughter’s apartment in Los Angeles, but finds within himself a number of spacious rooms sufficient for a lifetime’s wandering. A brother reluctantly takes his grieving sister into his London flat after their parents’ deaths and realizes, as he watches her try to adjust, that he is the one in need. After several years of living with her widowed stepfather in northern California, an adolescent girl tries to articulate her affection for him only as she is being sent back East to live with relatives she hardly knows.

Lightning SongLightning Song

A Novel by Lewis Nordan

Algonquin Books (Paperback, $10.95, ISBN: 1565122208)

Publication date: October 1998

Description by Valerie Sayers, The New York Times Book Review:

Mr. Nordan’s narrative voice, Southern and boyish and goofy, comes close to merging with the boy it describes. Sometimes it seems as if Leroy were zipping open his chest and displaying his heart, naked with longing: I must confess — reviewers have hearts, too — that I love this boy. I also love the excesses of this novel’s language; I love the lightning striking at regular intervals; I love the llamas singing in the fields beyond the house where Leroy lies in bed, pondering the mysteries of growing up; I love the novel’s shifting tone, sardonic when that’s required and tender when only tenderness will do.

Lewis & Clark: Voyage of DiscoveryLewis & Clark: Voyage of Discovery

Nonfiction by Stephen E. Ambrose, photographs by Sam Abell

National Geographic Society (Hardcover, $35.00, ISBN: 0792270843)

Publication date: October 1998

Description from Booklist (15 September 1998):

Don’t expect Ambrose’s second treatment of the Lewis and Clark expedition to retread his Undaunted Courage (1996), a huge-selling biography of Meriwether Lewis. An inspection of both books reveals only tiny verbatim repetition, and the cause soon becomes clear: whereas the biography held to the form’s stricture that the author be detached from his subject, this photo album proclaims Ambrose’s 20-year-long personal obsession (as he puts it) with the epic story. Since 1976 he and his family have spent their summers along the route taken by the Corps of Discovery; some family members have even moved to Montana because of their devotional interest in Lewis and Clark. Ambrose, drawing on his hikes and canoe trips to all the monuments between St. Louis and Fort Clatsop associated with the explorers, melds his memories and own journal entries with a new Lewis and Clark narrative spiced by entries from their journals. Akin to religious pilgrims, Ambrose and companions (including Dayton Duncan and film producer Ken Burns) often re-read passages from those journals at the locale an entry was written, allowing Ambrose to comment on the place’s contemporary appearance, whether pristine (Gates of the Rocky Mountains), or altered (the dammed-up Missouri River). The visual difference between Duncan and Burns’ Lewis & Clark (1997) and this Ambrose treatment is notable: the former uses nineteenth-century paintings; the latter contemporary National Geo-style photographs of the vistas. Ambrose remarks that his obsession changed his life, and surely his travelogue/tribute will change the vacation plans of some readers as well. Popular, beyond doubt. —Gilbert Taylor Copyright © 1998, American Library Association. All rights reserved.

The Victors: Eisenhower and His BoysThe Victors: Eisenhower and His Boys

Nonfiction by Stephen E. Ambrose

Simon & Schuster (Hardcover, $28.00, ISBN: 068485628X)

Publication date: October 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews (October 1, 1998)

Revisiting ground covered previously in his superb Citizen Soldiers (1997) and other works about the climactic European campaigns of 1944-45, distinguished historian Ambrose (Undaunted Courage, 1996, etc.) tells the story of the conquest of Nazism by an array of American, English, and Canadian kids led by the plain-spoken Dwight Eisenhower. As in his earlier works, Ambrose focuses on the stories of individualsthe men who planned and led the invasion, the junior officers and non-commissioned officers, and the ordinary citizen soldiers of the Allied armies. He traces the training of ordinary boys from Chicago, Kansas, and Georgia, and the rise of their commander, Dwight Eisenhower, through a variety of staff posts. “Ike,” as he was known to absolutely everybody soon after his arrival in England in 1942, quickly became a favorite with the British press and with the often prickly English military establishment: He relied often on his considerable diplomatic skills to compel the British and American commanders to work together. However, the author faults the inefficiency of Ike’s war of attrition and his failure to ensure that his army was adequately trained and equipped for battle. Most of the narrative is devoted to the travails of the individual soldier in combat. With photographic immediacy, Ambrose shows the pitilessly savage nature of the war as he takes the reader through hellish beach landings, sanguinary battles to liberate Normandy, pursuit through France, the terrifying aspects of trench, street, and night battle, setbacks to the Allied advance, and the ferocious but ultimately unsuccessful German counter-punch through the Ardennes. Meticulously researched and characteristically well told. A compelling and heartfelt tribute to the GI. —Copyright © 1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Americans at WarAmericans at War

Nonfiction by Stephen E. Ambrose

Berkeley (Paperback, $14.00, ISBN: 0425165108)

Publication date: October 1998


Collected here for the first time are fifteen essays that span over 100 years of American history—and the remarkable thirty-year career of America’s foremost historian. Ambrose’s vivid and compelling essays take you to the heart of America’s wars, from Grant’s stunning Fourth of July victory at Vicksburg, to Nixon’s surprise Christmas bombing of Hanoi. Ambrose brings to life the ambition and charisma that led to Custer’s great success in the Civil War and fateful disaster at Little Big Horn. With vivid imagery and precise commentary, he puts you on the beaches of Normandy with the common footsoldier and in the headquarters of America’s great commanders, Eisenhower, Patton and MacArthur. He takes you to the trenches of the homefront, ground zero of the Atomic Bomb, and into the arsenals of the twenty-first century.

Bob the GamblerBob the Gambler

By Frederick Barthelme

Houghton Mifflin (Paperback; $12.00; ISBN: 039592474X)

Publication date: October 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews (1 September 1997):

Barthelme’s latest exercise in existential pulse-taking focuses on the democratic vice of gambling, though it’s less a study in addiction than a celebration of risk-taking and downward mobility. Raymond Kaiser, his wife Jewel, and her daughter from a previous marriage, RV, all quietly enjoy life in Biloxi, Miss., a “simple, easy, cheap” town on the Gulf Coast. With work as an architect drying up, Ray finds himself increasingly interested in the glitzy world of offshore gambling, especially at the Paradise, where Jewel wins over $1,000 on their first trip. In their daily life, “everything’s dull,” so it’s no wonder that Jewel and Ray enjoy the visceral excitement of gambling. They soon graduate from slots to the blackjack table, and slowly find themselves down by over $4,000. Meanwhile, back home, RV seems headed into a downward spiral of teen rebellion—boy trouble, substance experimenting, and body piercings. It doesn’t help that her parents are largely absent, spending their nights at Paradise. When Ray’s father dies, it sends him further into a midlife crisis. He comes to see himself no longer as “an ordinary guy,” but as a full-time gambler. The problem is—he’s not very good at it. Spending 18 hours at a time in the casino does nothing but increase his debts. Maxing out a handful of credit cards, he finds himself over $35,000 in the hole, but still juiced by “the losses, the excitement, the hopes, the desperation, the high.” Quitting architecture altogether, Ray and Jewel decide to downsize, selling their belongings and moving in with Ray’s mother. In their new simplicity, this besieged family finally finds that happiness is not in middle-class stability, nor in the quick fix of gambling’s artificial Paradise, but in their everyday Edenic lives. Barthelme strains for topical textures—cool repartee is interrupted only by channel surfing. But the real payoff is straight-up and timeless: a novel of surprising heart and soul. —Copyright © Kirkus Associates, LP.

Religion and the American Civil WarReligion and the American Civil War

Edited by Randall M. Miller, Harry S. Stout, and Charles Reagan Wilson

Oxford University Press (Paperback; $24.95; ISBN: 0195121295)

Publication date: October 1998

Description from The Southern Register (Fall 1999):

This collection of essays is the first extended treatment of the relationship between American religious life and the Civil War…. In illuminating the complex relationship of religion and the Civil War, the editors bring together a stellar group of scholars…. This new book opens new scholarly perspectives on the Civil War and shows how religious issues occupied center stage of the conflict that rested on fundamental issues of American self-definition and the emergence of a modern nation.

Remember Me, CowboyRemember Me, Cowboy

By Caroline Burnes (Carolyn Haines)

Harlequin (Paperback, ISBN: 0373224850)

Publication date: October 1998

Shakespeare's ChampionShakespeare’s Champion

By Charlaine Harris

Dell (Paperback, ISBN: 0440224217)

Publication date: October 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews:

The author’s strong, often silent heroine, Lily Bard, and Shakespeare, Arkansas, her adopted hometown, in a second appearance (Shakespeare’s Landlord, 1996). Lily cleans houses for a living and works out at the BodyTime Gym. There, early one morning, she and young Bobo Winthrop discover the body of fitness enthusiast Del Packard—crushed by a weight-laden bar.

Accident or murder? Police Chief Claude Freidrich, Lily’s neighbor and would-be lover, doesn’t have a clue. Meanwhile, Packard’s death seems yet more evidence of the town’s sinister atmosphere, a sense of unease going back to the not-long-ago beating death of black Darnell Glass and the killing, a few weeks later, of white farmer Lee Elgin—neither murder ever solved.

Now, the racist fliers placed in car windows around town don’t help. Then there’s the pony-tailed stranger seen with Hollis Winthrop Jr.—one of Lily’s employers and head of his family’s lucrative sporting-goods business now that patriarch Hollis Sr. has retired. A frightening act of violence in the black community church prompts the stranger to reveal his true identity to Lily, and it’s she, with help from an unexpected source, who rescues him as the whole ugly scenario unravels.

Wheels within wheels in a suspenseful story packed with nasty characters, a few good guys, some graphic sex, and more exercise and karate lore than you ever wanted to know. Lily’s stubborn, moody, gutsy persona holds it all together, and most readers will be with her to the finish. —Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Next to Last ChanceNext to Last Chance

By Louisa Dixon

Genesis Press (Hardcover, $24.95, ISBN: 1885478399)

Publication date: October 1998

Description from Independent Publisher :

Louisa Dixon clearly draws heavily upon her unique experience as Mississippi Highway Patrol Commissioner to fashion this thriller. Laura Owen, the novel’s fictional appointee to that position, has been dealing rather successfully with good ol’ boys much of her life. Two such old acquaintances, who will be her nemeses throughout the novel, open the book with a gruesome act that presages their entire futures. This is no mystery: we know which ruthless bad guys are on a collision course with Laura as she leads a war against drug dealers. We can also predict what becomes of these former classmates of Laura’s—that’s how two-dimensional they are—though the eventual downfall of one does have its satisfactions. The major interest in this book lies in seeing the inner workings of a skilled group of law enforcement personnel, and the related political journey of one very strong woman through a sexist world largely out to oust her. Dixon’s style is matter-of-fact and thorough. She takes us into this perilous, intriguing system of lawlessness and order, connecting highway roadblocks to political roadblocks, and troopers making arrests to the viciously partisan legislators they must petition for pay and support. This journey is so riveting it offsets the flaws of the story, including the plot-convenient marriage of Laura’s best friend to one of her enemies. Dixon’s portrayal of Laura’s emotions as mother, boss, wife and media personality also rings true. By the time you finish this tale of Southern greed and evil, you’ll probably look forward to the next book on Laura Owen’s continuing job as Safety Commissioner, but won’t wonder at all why Louisa Dixon has long since left that position.

Art in Mississippi 1720-1980 Art in Mississippi 1720-1980

Nonfiction by Patti Carr Black

University Press of Mississippi (Hardcover, $60.00, ISBN: 1578060842)

Publication date: November 1998

Brief Review:

In Art in Mississippi Patti Carr Black focuses on several hundred significant artists and showcases in full color the work of more than two hundred. Nationally acclaimed native Mississippians are here—George Ohr, Walter Anderson, Marie Hull, Theora Hamblett, William Dunlap, Sam Gilliam, William Hollingsworth, Jr., Karl Wolfe, Mildred Nungester Wolfe, John McCrady, Ed McGowin, James Seawright, and many others. Prominent artists who lived or worked in the state for a significant period of time are included as well—John James Audubon, Louis Comfort Tiffany, George Caleb Bingham, William Aiken Walker, and more. Black explores how art reflects the land and how modes of living and values dictated by Mississippi’s changing topography created a variety of art forms. She demonstrates the influence of Mississippi’s diverse cultures upon the art and shows how it has responded in many forms—painting, architecture, sculpture, fine crafts—to the changing aesthetics of national art movements.

Journey to Beloved Journey to Beloved

Nonfiction by Oprah Winfrey, photographs by Ken Regan

Hyperion (Hardcover, $40.00, ISBN: 0786864583)

Publication date: November 1998


Of all the events in Oprah Winfrey’s life, none has affected her powerfully as playing the part of Sethe, the former slave who must come to terms with a haunting past, in Jonathan Demme’s film of Toni Morrison’s Pulizer Prize-winning novel. Oprah fell in love with the book when it was first published in 1988, and instantly became determined to deliver this powerful story to film herself. But making the movie was something even more profound than she might have imagined, and Journey to Beloved is her own emotional account of that experience.

With Oprah’s heartfelt words and the evocative images of Ken Regan, Journey to Beloved is an elegant book that will interest fans of Oprah, of Toni Morrison, and of fine filmmaking. Accompanying Oprah’s personal journals and thoughts about the Beloved experience is a foreword by Jonathan Demme and a chorus of voices, from Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Kimberly Elise, and Beah Richards. The result is a tribute to a courageous work of art, expressed as only Oprah can express it.

Where Water Begins: New Poems and Prose

By John Stone

Louisiana State University Press (Hardcover, $22.95, ISBN: 0807123269; Paperback, $12.95, ISBN: 0807123277)

Publication date: November 1998

Description from Booklist: (15 October 1998)

Galumphing meters and strained rhymes used to distinguish amateurish poetry, but since the confessional poetry of the 1950s, earnest, diary-like prosiness has been its hallmark. Stone, a physician, may be an amateur poet, writing about the kinds of things one would ponder in a diary and inserting prose memoirs among the poems, but he isn’t amateurish. He uses meter and rhyme very skillfully, and he knows how to involve us in the events of his life by saying what they were and how he experienced them rather than how he feels about them. Here, those events include living on after his wife’s too-early death, spending Halloween in a third-floor hotel room whose sliding door opens on thin air, exchanging songs with a mockingbird, noticing a big soap bubble floating through highway traffic, and doing without running water during a weekend at a getaway cabin. All are vivid, as if they were our experiences as well as Stone’s, and perhaps they are. Review by Ray Olson. —Copyright © 1998, American Library Association.

Shakespeare's ChristmasShakespeare’s Christmas

By Charlaine Harris

St. Martin’s (Hardcover, ISBN: 0312193300)

Publication date: November 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews:

But its neither Shakespeare nor Christmas, actually, since Lily Bard, the most formidable cleaning woman in Shakespeare, Ark., leaves her adopted hometown in the opening chapter to return to her family’s queasy bosom in Bartley for her sister Varena’s wedding, a Christmas Eve affair that’s bound to upstage the usual round of holiday festivities.

What it doesn’t upstage is a long-unsolved kidnapping—the snatching of newborn Summer Dawn Macklesby from her family’s porch eight years before, a crime that springs to alarming life again courtesy of an anonymously donated newspaper clipping announcing that Summer Dawn is one of the three eight-year-olds pictured.

The candidates: Varena’s next-door neighbor Eve Osborn, her minister’s daughter Krista O’Shea, and Anna Kingery, daughter of Varena’s intended. Lily, who’s herself the survivor of a brutal abduction and would rather be working than socializing anyway, isn’t about to back down from this challenge, particularly after she and Varena stumble on the bodies of Dr. Dave LeMay and his nurse Binnie Armstrong—a powerful reminder that the Macklesby kidnapping has yet to be laid to rest.

The detection is routine (Lily snoops around as she cleans the suspects’ houses), and bucolic Bartley is no Shakespeare. Only Lily herself, in full attack mode, carries the day. —Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Beach WalksBeach Walks

By George Thatcher

Quail Ridge Press (Hardcover, $9.95, ISBN: 0937552976)

Publication date: November 1998

Description from the publisher:

The beach and the open sea offer a special opportunity to find spiritual pleasure. George Thatcher has fully utilized this opportunity. The retired banker and Gulfport resident records his daily beach walks in a column that runs daily in The Sun Herald (Biloxi). His entries are brief—but they capture the memorable impressions of his daily sojourns. Throughout the seasons, sometimes at sunrise, sometimes at sunset, his sensitive eye and acute consciousness enable us all to experience the special joys of the beach and all its wonder.

Unlike the piston-armed walker with the stopwatch to time his paces, Thatcher observes the subtle vignettes of the beach. His focus may be on a conch shell one day, while on another evening, the wonder of a sea turtle burying her eggs may inspire him.

“A beach walk offers a bit of peace in a busy world. Amid spectacular seascapes, there is opportunity to consider one’s own interior landscapes....” —George Thatcher

A Long Ways from Where I’ve Been: An African-American’s Journey from the Jim Crow South to Chicago’s Gold Coast

Nonfiction by Roosevelt Richards

Noble Press (Paperback, $10.95, ISBN: 1879360357)

Publication date: December 1998


Richards chronicles his life as a young, black boy, growing up in a large farm in rural Mississippi, where he and his family are subjected to the brutal injustice of Jim Crow. Despite the impoverished circumstances and harsh prejudices that dominated the life of Roosevelt and his family, his story is lovingly recounted.

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