Before Women Had Wings


Connie May Fowler - 1996
    But because Mama couldn't find anyone who thought Avocet was a fine name for a child, she called me Bird. Which is okay by me. She named both her children after birds, her logic being that if we were named for something with wings then maybe we'd be able to fly above the shit in our lives. . . .                       So says Bird Jackson, the mesmerizing narrator of Connie May Fowler's vivid and brilliantly written, Before Women Had Wings.                       Starstruck by a dime-store picture of Jesus, Bird fancies herself "His girlfriend" and embarks upon a spiritual quest for salvation, even as the chaos of her home life plunges her into a stony silence. In stark and honest language, she tells the tragic life of her father, a sweet-talking wanna-be country music star, tracks her older sister's perilous journey into womanhood, and witnesses her mother make a courageous and ultimately devastating decision.                      Yet most profound is Bird's own story--her struggle to sift through the ashes of her parents' lives, her meeting with Miss Zora, a healer whose prayers over the bones of winged creatures are meant to guide their souls to heaven, and her will to make sense of a world where fear is more plentiful than hope, retribution more valued than love. . . .                     "A thing of heart-rending beauty, a moving exploration of love and loss, violence and grief, forgiveness and redemption."           --Chicago Tribune                      "There is no denying the depth of Connie May Fowler's talent and the breadth of her imagination."           --The New York Times Book Review                      "Brilliant."           --The Boston Sunday Globe

Ferris Beach


Jill McCorkle - 1990
    . . . A thoroughly believable picture of growing up in a middle-class small-town family in the New South."--The New York Times Book Review. "Whimsically entertaining and dramatically compelling."--The Boston Globe. "One of the best in the new generation of Southern writers."--Atlanta Journal & Constitution.

Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery


John Gregory Brown - 1994
    . . that unlocks its secrets like a Chinese box, each hidden compartment opening to reveal yet another, until at the end we stand aghast at the complexity that lies before us” (Richmond Times-Dispatch). This is the heartbreaking story of the Eagen's, an New Orleans family of “mixed blood,” as recalled by three unforgettable narrators, each intimately entangled in the family’s small tragedies and betrayals.Years ago, when his daughter Meredith was young, Dr. Thomas Eagen abruptly left his wife and children in an incident that still haunts Meredith well into adulthood. She longs to discover the truth behind her father's disappearance, as well as the reasons why Thomas's mother, a proud black woman, abandoned his devout Catholic father.

The Tennis Handsome


Barry Hannah - 1983
    Their adventures include rape by a walrus, murder by crossbow, and a tennis tournament played at gunpoint. Hannah's inventiveness sparkles and his prose shines.

The Risen


Ron Rash - 2016
    A sexy, free-spirited redhead from Daytona Beach banished to their small North Carolina town until the fall, Ligeia will not only bewitch the two brothers, but lure them into a struggle that reveals the hidden differences in their natures.Drawn in by her raw sensuality and rebellious attitude, Eugene falls deeper under her spell. Ligeia introduces him to the thrills and pleasures of the counterculture movement, then in its headiest moment. But just as the movement’s youthful optimism turns dark elsewhere in the country that summer, so does Eugene and Ligeia’s brief romance. Eugene moves farther and farther away from his brother, the cautious and dutiful Bill, and when Ligeia vanishes as suddenly as she appeared, the growing rift between the two brothers becomes immutable.Decades later, their relationship is still turbulent, and the once close brothers now lead completely different lives. Bill is a gifted and successful surgeon, a paragon of the community, while Eugene, the town reprobate, is a failed writer and determined alcoholic.When a shocking reminder of the past unexpectedly surfaces, Eugene is plunged back into that fateful summer, and the girl he cannot forget. The deeper he delves into his memories, the closer he comes to finding the truth. But can Eugene’s recollections be trusted? And will the truth set him free and offer salvation . . . or destroy his damaged life and everyone he loves?

Lightning Song


Lewis Nordan - 1997
    Life is perfect. It's true that his grandfather just died in the attic and that wild dogs kill a baby llama now and then, and it's true that one little sister curses him and the other one wets her pants. But up to the day Uncle Harris moves in, life looks like it's right out of a Walt Disney movie. No wonder the llamas greet each morning with a song. Uncle Harris arrives in a sports car, full of funny stories and new ideas. He manages to persuade Leroy's straitlaced parents to join him for cocktails in the evening. He sets up a pretty grand bachelor pad in the Dearman attic, with a telephone, a TV set, and a stack of Playboy magazines. He is, you might say, Romance itself. Once Uncle Harris moves in, life on the llama farm takes on an entirely different flavor. Leroy discovers those magazines. Electricity fills the Dearman house. Equilibrium tilts, conversation trails off, the atmospheric pressure twists--and lightning strikes. Leroy starts seeing things he's never seen before, like the very gifted baton-twirling teacher, and his world changes forever. Not since PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT has a novel looked so directly, hilariously, and bittersweetly at the heartbreak of puberty.

Cockfighter


Charles Willeford - 1962
    In this haunting, ribald, and percussively violent work, the author of Hoke Moseley detective novels yields a floodlit vision of the cockpits and criminal underbelly of the rural south. First published in 1962 by Charles Willeford, later made into a Roger Corman film.

The Redshirt


Corey Sobel - 2020
    The Redshirt introduces Miles Furling, a young man who is convinced he was placed on earth to play football. Deep in the closet, he sees the sport as a means of gaining a permanent foothold in a culture that would otherwise reject him. Still, Miles's body lags behind his ambitions, and recruiters tell him he is not big enough to compete at the top level. His dreams come true when a letter arrives from King College.The elite southern school boasts one of the best educations in America and one of the worst Division One football programs. King football is filled with obscure, ignored players like Miles -- which is why he and the sports world in general are shocked when the country's top recruit, Reshawn McCoy, also chooses to attend the college. As brilliant a student as he is a player, the intensely private Reshawn refuses to explain why he chose King over other programs.Miles is as baffled as everyone else, and less than thrilled when he winds up rooming with the taciturn Reshawn. Initially at odds with each other, the pair become confidants as the win-at-all-costs program makes brutal demands on their time and bodies. When their true selves and the identities that have been imposed on them by the game collide, both young men are forced to make life-changing choices.

Sewerville: A Southern Gangster Novel


Aaron Saylor - 2012
    The town of Sewardville, Kentucky teeters on the edge of a violent abyss, overrun with methamphetamine and prescription drug abuse. The Slone family controls everything. Patriarch Walt Slone is the town’s mayor and head of one of the largest crime syndicates in the eastern United States. His son metes out justice from behind his sheriff’s badge, while his daughter handles all the numbers for the family business. Business for the Slones is good, too – at least until Walt orders his son-in-law Boone to kill his own brother. That becomes the first link in a chain of events that threatens not just the livelihood of all involved, but their lives as well. While the Slones move to strengthen their empire, Boone moves to break free and take his little daughter with him. Will he escape from one of America’s most heartbroken regions, or will his dark past bury him forever in the place they call Sewerville?

The Good Conscience


Carlos Fuentes - 1959
    The scene is Guanajuato, a provincial capital in Central Mexico, once one of the world's richest mining centers. The Ceballos family has been reinstated to power, and adolescent Jaime Ceballos, its only heir, is torn between the practical reality of his family's life and the idealism of his youth and his Catholic education. His father is a good man but weak; his uncle is powerful, yet his actions are inconsistent with his professed beliefs. Jaime's struggle to emerge as a man with a "good conscience" forms the theme of the book: can a rebel correct the evils of an established system and at the same time retain the integrity of his principles?

Big Woods


William Faulkner - 1955
    An avid hunter as well as one of America's greatest writers, Faulkner spent many days hunting in the big woods near Oxford, Mississippi.Included here is his most famous hunting story, "The Bear", as well as "The Old People", "A Bear Hunt", and "Race at Morning". Together, these four stories are considered to be the finest hunting stories ever written. Each is introduced with a prelude that weaves these tales together into a modern American classic.This book, a classic collection of sporting literature, belongs in the library of every sportsman. Big Woods was published in 1955. It has long been out of print in hard cover, and a copy of the book commands up to $175 if you can find one. We are honored to offer you a special edition of Big Woods.This edition of 1,200 copies is bound in rich cloth on 70-pound acid-free paper, with a silk ribbon and a handsome slipcase.

The Serpentine Cave


Jill Paton Walsh - 1997
    she has left it too late to ask the crucial questions about scenes confusedly remembered from her childhood, and above all about the identity of her own father, 'lost in the war'. Out of the hundreds of paintings in her mother's studio, one, a portrait of a young man, is inscribed 'For Marion'. Is this her father? And who was he?Marion's search takes her to the Cornish town of St Ives. In the remote and closeknit town where communities of fisherfolk and artists have coexisted for many years, she learns of a tragedy which is intrinsically tied up with her father's life. Over fifty years before, the St Ives lifeboat went down with all hands bar one. Marion must delve deep into the past to discover the identity of a man she never knew,a nd in so doing confront the demons which have tortured her own adult life.The Serpentine Cave is an imagined story containing a true one - a powerful novel about memory and loss, birth and rebirth, and past regrets which still have the power to plague the present.

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys


Chris Fuhrman - 1994
    Francis Doyle, Tim Sullivan, and their three closest friends are altar boys at Blessed Heart Catholic Church and eighth-grade classmates at the parish school. They are also inveterate pranksters, artistic, and unimpressed by adult authority. When Sodom vs. Gomorrah '74, their collaborative comic book depicting Blessed Heart's nuns and priests gleefully breaking the seventh commandment, falls into the hands of the principal, the boys, certain that their parents will be informed, conspire to create an audacious diversion. Woven into the details of the boys' preparations for the stunt are touching, hilarious renderings of the school day routine and the initiatory rites of male adolescence, from the first serious kiss to the first serious hangover.

The Riverside Villas Murder


Kingsley Amis - 1973
    Only Peter begins to guess at the truth--a dangerous truth--which leads him to the river bank by moonlight. A delightful book, and as with all works by Kingsley Amis, guaranteed to please.

A Southern Place


Elaine Drennon Little - 2013
    She’s in the ICU of Phoebe Putney, the largest hospital in South Georgia, barely able to talk. How Mojo goes from being that skinny little girl in Nolan, a small forgotten town along the Flint River, to the young woman now fighting for her life, is where this story begins and ends. Mojo, her mama Delores and her Uncle Calvin Mullinax, like most folks in Nolan, have just tried to make the best of it. Of course, people aren’t always what they seem, and Phil Foster--the handsome, spoiled son of the richest man in the county--is no exception. As the story of the Mullinax family unfolds, Mojo discovers a family’s legacy can be many things—a piece of earth, a familiar dwelling, a shared bond. And although she doesn’t know why she feels such a bond with Phil Foster, it is there all the same, family or not. And she likes to think we all have us a fresh start. Like her mama always said, the past is all just water under the bridge. Mojo, after going to hell and back, finally comes to understand what that means.