If You like Your Short Stories Southern Style, Read On

By O'Connell, Tim | The Florida Times Union, May 25, 2014 | Go to article overview

If You like Your Short Stories Southern Style, Read On


O'Connell, Tim, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Tim O'Connell

PORCH STORIES

Author: Larry Bruce Barnes

Data: Larry Barnes Publishing, 137 pages, $10

SUM OF MANY THINGS

Author: Rick Maloy

Data: Seward House, 184 pages, $14.99

Two of North Florida's finest "new" writers (both produced debut novels in 2013), Larry Bruce Barnes ("Fightin' the Boogeyman") and Rick Maloy ("Replacement Children"), have now published short story collections.

North Carolina-bred Barnes' "Porch Stories" are Southern jewels that would glitter in any locale. Those of us of an age have experienced similar situations: The loss of a loved one, remembering our first (and sometimes last) hunting trip or facing a deadly disease, but Barnes takes them to another level, infusing them with a smoky tone that is distinctly his.

Although several of the stories are award winners, the most striking is one with the most homely title. "Bookmobile," an intense and revealing bit about sharecroppers, invokes images that could have been captured by Dorothea Lange or Walker Evans or James Agee. …

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