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Surreal South '07: An Anthology of Short Fiction and Poetry

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Welcome to the dream world. What you are about to encounter is the unfiltered stuff of the dream, and that is wild, terrifying, provocative, and unsettling material. In this volume, some of the best living Southern writers are offering up a feast of their dreams, wonderful and awful in equal measure, for you to enjoy. These dream stories and poems will tell you what you ha Welcome to the dream world. What you are about to encounter is the unfiltered stuff of the dream, and that is wild, terrifying, provocative, and unsettling material. In this volume, some of the best living Southern writers are offering up a feast of their dreams, wonderful and awful in equal measure, for you to enjoy. These dream stories and poems will tell you what you have always known, but what you are too afraid to say out loud in the full light of day: that we are a race of chimeras, beings made up of the incompatible parts of innumerable mutually antagonistic creatures. Our pieces do not fit together. We are, when were willing to tell the truth about ourselves, surreal at our hearts. Welcome to the Surreal South. Contents: The echo of neighborly bones by Daniel Woodrell Sales call by Susan Woodring Help me find my spaceman lover by Robert Olen Butler Willows / The swan by Rodney Jones The river that was my father / Poem in the ninth month by Beth Ann Fennelly Fat lighter by George Singleton Sautéing the platygast by Dean Paschal Pig helmet & the wall of life by Pinckney Benedict The drinking gourd by Katie Estill Swans by Benjamin Percy The Bear Bryant funeral train by Brad Vice Night by Jacinda Townsend Dog song by Ann Pancake The era of great numbers by Lee K. Abbott Decirculating the monkey by Chris Offutt Corpse bird by Ron Rash Mother by Andrew Hudgins The widow Sunday by Kathy Conner Smonk gets out alive by Tom Franklin Witches, all by Laura Benedict The paperhanger by William Gay Silver man / Dinner date by Joy Beshears Hay Crazy ladies by Greg Johnson Cactus Vic and his marvelous magical elephant / The best chicken in Arkansas by Jon Tribble Birdfists by Julianna Baggott The bingo master by Joyce Carol Oates The truth and all its ugly by Kyle Minor Contributors biographies & notes


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Welcome to the dream world. What you are about to encounter is the unfiltered stuff of the dream, and that is wild, terrifying, provocative, and unsettling material. In this volume, some of the best living Southern writers are offering up a feast of their dreams, wonderful and awful in equal measure, for you to enjoy. These dream stories and poems will tell you what you ha Welcome to the dream world. What you are about to encounter is the unfiltered stuff of the dream, and that is wild, terrifying, provocative, and unsettling material. In this volume, some of the best living Southern writers are offering up a feast of their dreams, wonderful and awful in equal measure, for you to enjoy. These dream stories and poems will tell you what you have always known, but what you are too afraid to say out loud in the full light of day: that we are a race of chimeras, beings made up of the incompatible parts of innumerable mutually antagonistic creatures. Our pieces do not fit together. We are, when were willing to tell the truth about ourselves, surreal at our hearts. Welcome to the Surreal South. Contents: The echo of neighborly bones by Daniel Woodrell Sales call by Susan Woodring Help me find my spaceman lover by Robert Olen Butler Willows / The swan by Rodney Jones The river that was my father / Poem in the ninth month by Beth Ann Fennelly Fat lighter by George Singleton Sautéing the platygast by Dean Paschal Pig helmet & the wall of life by Pinckney Benedict The drinking gourd by Katie Estill Swans by Benjamin Percy The Bear Bryant funeral train by Brad Vice Night by Jacinda Townsend Dog song by Ann Pancake The era of great numbers by Lee K. Abbott Decirculating the monkey by Chris Offutt Corpse bird by Ron Rash Mother by Andrew Hudgins The widow Sunday by Kathy Conner Smonk gets out alive by Tom Franklin Witches, all by Laura Benedict The paperhanger by William Gay Silver man / Dinner date by Joy Beshears Hay Crazy ladies by Greg Johnson Cactus Vic and his marvelous magical elephant / The best chicken in Arkansas by Jon Tribble Birdfists by Julianna Baggott The bingo master by Joyce Carol Oates The truth and all its ugly by Kyle Minor Contributors biographies & notes

30 review for Surreal South '07: An Anthology of Short Fiction and Poetry

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Surreal. It’s heart-warming to see that this type of fiction, which used to be the prerogative of strict genre, now feels at home in high-brow, literary, writing. New blood is always welcome. When a writer breaks the bonds of reality, or any bonds for that matter, the result is the rejuvenation of fiction. South. As someone who wasn’t born in this country, but who lived a long chunk of his life in the American North-East, my impression of the South is the land of rural rednecks, transplanted Nort Surreal. It’s heart-warming to see that this type of fiction, which used to be the prerogative of strict genre, now feels at home in high-brow, literary, writing. New blood is always welcome. When a writer breaks the bonds of reality, or any bonds for that matter, the result is the rejuvenation of fiction. South. As someone who wasn’t born in this country, but who lived a long chunk of his life in the American North-East, my impression of the South is the land of rural rednecks, transplanted Northern urbanites, industrial African-Americans and maybe, on the exotic side, the Gullah. What can possibly be surreal and dreamy about this land, except, again for the Gullah magic? Unless even this magic is an invention of Hollywood. [Read the rest of this review in The Bloomsbury review]

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amberle Husbands

    This collection lived up to all of my expectations. There's shivers, there's weirdness, and there are plenty of moments where the thing on the page leaves your stomach curdled and your face frozen in a horrified grimace, guaranteed to bother whatever company you're being rude enough to read in front of. 'Sauteing the Platygast', by Dean Paschal, is certainly one of those; grimace-worthy from the very first line on. There's even a level of cuteness in some of these surreal tales -- Robert Olen Bu This collection lived up to all of my expectations. There's shivers, there's weirdness, and there are plenty of moments where the thing on the page leaves your stomach curdled and your face frozen in a horrified grimace, guaranteed to bother whatever company you're being rude enough to read in front of. 'Sauteing the Platygast', by Dean Paschal, is certainly one of those; grimace-worthy from the very first line on. There's even a level of cuteness in some of these surreal tales -- Robert Olen Butler's wonderful story 'Help Me Fine My Spaceman Lover' is as sweet and strange a love story as I've ever read. And then there are stories of pure magic, as strange and primal as it can be in its natural state; stories like Ann Pancake's 'Dog Song', which happens to be my personal favorite from this collection of stories, heart-achingly lovely and gut-wrenching by turns. There are also some pieces that -- at least for me -- were very nearly unreadable in their strangeness. Some, in fact, I just bulled my way through, telling myself they would either make sense in the end, or I'd just have to try them again in a few weeks... maybe years. But, I think that the beautiful, well-crafted and haunting stories greatly outweighed the unreadable ones, and the whole collection is well worth tripping through to find the gems.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Clifford

    If anything, this book delivers more than a reader can absorb. There are sooo many good stories here that it was a mistake to try to read it straight through. It is better savored. Pick it up, read one, and come back later to read another. Ironically, since I'm not a Joyce Carol Oates fan, her story in this anthology is probably my favorite - although there are many others I also enjoyed very much. If anything, this book delivers more than a reader can absorb. There are sooo many good stories here that it was a mistake to try to read it straight through. It is better savored. Pick it up, read one, and come back later to read another. Ironically, since I'm not a Joyce Carol Oates fan, her story in this anthology is probably my favorite - although there are many others I also enjoyed very much.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie Saint

    Awesome! J.T. Ellison's Gray Lady story is the best. Creepy! Awesome! J.T. Ellison's Gray Lady story is the best. Creepy!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    lovely collection, most of it first rate, with a couple of real surprises that led me to authors I didn't know lovely collection, most of it first rate, with a couple of real surprises that led me to authors I didn't know

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Collection of short stories that I am have a hard time finishing. And they are surreal.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Harry Heitman

    An excellent collection of absorbing and varied short stories. Very enjoyable with an impressive gathering of authors.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Patry

  9. 5 out of 5

    George

  10. 5 out of 5

    Roberta

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amari

  12. 5 out of 5

    Allie

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sonya

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jean Moore

  15. 4 out of 5

    Virginia

  16. 5 out of 5

    ElPolloDiablo

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rusty

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alana

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bill Householder

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sheryl

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jonathon

  24. 4 out of 5

    Clifford III

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carol Hughes

  27. 4 out of 5

    KMA Sullivan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jeffery Hess

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Horvath

  30. 4 out of 5

    Valerian

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