The Hard to Catch Mercy: A Novel

The Hard to Catch Mercy: A Novel

The Hard to Catch Mercy: A Novel

The Hard to Catch Mercy: A Novel

Synopsis

From lowcountry writer William Baldwin comes a new edition of his 1993 Lillian Smith Award-winning novel, The Hard to Catch Mercy. Including a new introduction by the author, this Southern Revivals edition makes available once more a story that touches on the issues of religion, race, and coming-of-age in the post-Civil War South, when the lines between these issues were not always clear. Set in fictional Cedar Point, a small southern community in the early 1900s, The Hard to Catch Mercy is told through the eyes of a young boy, Willie T., who is forced to confront the changing world around him. Including a cast of incredibly outlandish characters, Baldwin's novel is a wild, darkly comic tale rich with trick mules, Christian voodoo, fire, brimstone, first love, death, and the end of the world as Willie T. knows it.

Excerpt

Southern Revivals, supported by the University of South Carolina Institute for Southern Studies’s Robert E. McNair Fund, brings to print important works of literature by contemporary southern writers. All selections in the series have enjoyed critical and commercial success. By returning these works to general circulation, we hope to deepen readers’ understandings of, and appreciation for, not only specific authors but also the flourishing southern literary landscape. Not too long ago, it was a fairly straightforward task to distinguish literature by southerners, as most of their works focused on easily recognizable “southern” themes, perspectives the map, extending its reach from the coast of South Carolina to heart of West Africa, from the bayous of Louisiana to the rain forests of Brazil, from the mountains of Eastern Tennessee to the deserts of the Southwest. As our list of resurrected books grows, Southern Revivals will bring readers to many of these places, taking them on journeys into regions near and far away, journeys which attest to the astonishing diversity of contemporary southern culture.

William Baldwin’s first novel, The Hard to Catch Mercy, however, keeps us close to home, down in the lowcountry of South Carolina. Originally published in 1993, The Hard to Catch Mercy was widely and favorably reviewed and soon thereafter won the 1993 Lillian Smith Book Award, given to a book best exemplifying a vision of social and racial justice in the South. Baldwin was born and raised in McClellanville, South Carolina, near the coast, an . . .

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