Mississippi Books and Writers

August 2003

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

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Civil Rights: From Emancipation to the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Charles D. Lowery, John F. Marszalek, and Thomas Adams Upchurch

2 vols., Second edition (first published in 1992)

Greenwood Press (Hardcover, ISBN: 031332171X)

Publication date: August 2003

The Footprints of GodThe Footprints of God

By Greg Iles

Scribner (Hardcover, $25.95, ISBN: 0743234693)

Publication date: August 2003

Description from the publisher:

From the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author comes a cutting-edge new thriller rich with imagination and vision.

In the heart of North Carolina’s Research Triangle stands a corporate laboratory much like the others nearby. But behind its walls, America’s top scientists work around the clock to attain the holy grail of the twenty-first century—a supercomputer that surpasses the power of the human mind.

Appointed by the president as ethicist to Project Trinity, Dr. David Tennant finds himself in a pressure cooker of groundbreaking science and colossal ambition. When his friend and fellow scientist is murdered, David discovers that the genius who runs Project Trinity was responsible and that his own life is in danger. Unable to reach the president, and afraid to trust his colleagues, David turns to Rachel Weiss, the psychiatrist probing the nightmares that have plagued him during his work at Trinity. Rachel is skeptical of David's fears, but when an assassin strikes, the two doctors must flee for their lives.

Pursued across the globe by ruthless National Security Agency operatives, David and Rachel struggle to piece together the truth behind Project Trinity and the enormous power it could unleash upon the world. As constant danger deepens their intimacy, Rachel realizes the key to Trinity lies buried in David's disturbed mind. But Trinity’s clock is ticking…

Mankind is being held hostage by a machine that cannot be destroyed. Its only hope—a terrifying chess game between David and the Trinity computer, with the cities of the world as pawns. But what are the rules? How human is the machine? Can one man and woman change the course of history? Man’s future hangs in the balance, and the price of failure is extinction.

Considered one of the most insightful and ingenious of the new generation of bestselling authors, Greg Iles has written a thriller that maps the fascinating territory where science and spirit clash in a battle for the future of humanity. Stunning in its scope, The Footprints of God is a brilliant realization of its author’s talent.

Blue Window: Poems

By Ann Fisher-Wirth

Archer Books (Paperback, $14.00, ISBN: 1931122156)

Publication date: August 2003


“In that shadowy time before sorrow…” the title poem of Ann Fisher-Wirth’s Blue Window begins, invoking a young girl’s world of befores: before sexual and political awareness; before loss, grief, and guilt; before deaths in the neighborhood and the family. Fisher-Wirth continues tracing a series of journeys begun at that time. An Army brat and lifelong traveler who grew up in California and now lives in Mississippi; daughter, lover, wife, and mother; environmentalist, literature professor, and student of yoga and Reiki, Ann Fisher-Wirth writes out of the full range of her experience. Grounded in the body and the earth, Blue Window mourns and celebrates what it is to be alive.

“Many American poets have written what gets called ‘the autobiographical lyric.’ Very few poets have written it with such fierce and stinging accuracy. [Ann Fisher-Wirth] is, stylistically, a realist and a modernist. Like William Carlos Williams … she can be a little headlong, perhaps a little ruthless, and that quality gives this book, which also has the virtues of tenderness and attentiveness, its steel and its nerve.”
—Robert Hass, former U.S. poet laureate, author, most recently, of the collection Sun Under Wood

“Sweet, rank, precise, unafraid of either deep pain or deep joy, these poems remind me of horses in a pasture, always aware of their power and grace, even in repose, and always, completely natural. It is not just the poet who is acutely alive, in this work, but, somehow, the poems themselves.”
Rick Bass, Author, The Hermit’s Story: Stories, The Roadless Yaak, and others.

Ann Fisher-Wirth lives in Oxford, Mississippi, where she teaches poetry and environmental literature at the University of Mississippi. She is the author of William Carlos Williams and Autobiography: The Woods of His Own Nature and of numerous essays on American literature, and a Fulbright Scholar who in 2002-2003 held the Chair of American Studies at Uppsala University, Sweden. She and her husband Peter Wirth have five children.

Stories from the Blue Moon CafeStories from the Blue Moon Cafe II: Anthology of Southern Writers

Edited by Sonny Brewer

MacAdam/Cage Publishing (Hardcover, $25.00, ISBN: 1931561435)

Publication date: August 2003

Description from Publishers Weekly:

Eclectic, unpretentious and enjoyable, this collection of short stories, poetry and nonfiction is the second installment in the Blue Room Cafe series, edited by Brewer, owner of an Alabama bookstore and director of the annual literary event Southern Writers Reading. The majority of the book is high quality fiction, much of it by authors little known outside the Deep South. The opening story by Larry Brown, “A Roadside Resurrection,” is a gritty tale of a dying man and a healer who is cursed by his gift for healing. In William Gay’s “Homecoming,” a man drops in on wealthy relatives and finds the rich have more problems than he ever imagined. In Michelle Richmond’s “Choose Your Travel Partner Wisely,” a woman finds out more than she wants to know about her husband during a tropical holiday. Another husband and wife grow apart in “Orphans,” by Donald Hays, in which an Oklahoma dentist finds God and moves to Russia to found an orphanage, his skeptical wife trailing behind.

The strong nonfiction entries include “My Heroes Have Always Been Grill Cooks: Rumination on William Price Fox’s Southern Fried,” by John T. Edge, an insightful piece presented in a style recalling Fox’s famous staccato delivery. Among the poems, the most moving is David Fuller’s “Linda Wahlthal,” in which a man wonders whatever became of his first love. Brewer’s anthology must compete for shelf space with other, longer-established series, but the pleasing array of fresh voices and discerning selection of material makes this a welcome alternative. —Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

I, Rhoda Manning, Go Hunting with My Daddy: And Other Stories

By Ellen Gilchrist

Back Bay Books (Paperback, ISBN: 0316738689)

Publication date: August 2003

Description from Booklist:

Gilchrist’s most captivating recurring character, the classy and indomitable Rhoda Manning, starred in many of the best offerings in Gilchrist’s altogether splendid Collected Stories (2000). Now more fascinating than ever at age 65, Rhoda rules this potent new collection, too, as she reflects on her contentious past, especially her complicated relationships with her tough and commanding father and her three headstrong sons. Her macho and assiduous father amassed a fortune selling tractors, abruptly left the “decadent” South for the clean and godly mountains of Wyoming, then schemed to lure his clan to his new world. Rhoda finally recognizes how much she resembles her impossible but righteous father, how much she misses him, and how much they both suffered over their failure to keep her wily sons away from drugs and other risky escapades. With Rhoda as her foil, Gilchrist writes with startling clarity about the narcotized 1970s, the wildness of teenagers, and the helplessness of parents.

Another of her intriguing regulars, Nora Jane, headlines in a superbly suspenseful tale that is set in earthquake-rocked San Francisco and features a band of Islamic terrorists. A virtuoso in the art of understatement with a profound sense of place and a flair for sly dialogue, Gilchrist choreographs unnerving scenarios with a devilish offhandedness.

Acutely observant, wry, and wise, Gilchrist loves to write about characters who have it all—beauty, wealth, and strong family ties—and therefore stand to lose so very much. “Nothing human is easy,” says a woman in one spring-loaded tale, and that says it all.

—Donna Seaman. Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved.

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