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Conversations with Tim Gautreaux

L. Lamar Nisly

Publication Year: 2012

Louisiana writer Tim Gautreaux (b. 1947) writes fiction that mixes equal parts dry humor, tall tales, and deep tragedy. His stories and novels of working-class Acadiana portray lives of inimitably poignant love, loss, and longing. The depth and complexity of Gautreaux's writing invite scholarly appraisals as well, as critics mine the richness of his moral vision. These interviews reveal the intensity of his sense of place, his deep connection to the mechanical and working world, his commitment to the craft of writing, and his Catholic view that has been shaped by Flannery O'Connor and Walker Percy.

Conversations with Tim Gautreaux collects interviews from 1993 to 2009 with the author of The Missing, The Clearing, Welding with Children, and many other vital works of fiction. Readers who have been engaged with the themes in his stories and novels will find themselves equally taken with the kind and thoughtful voice they discover in interviews.

Published by: University Press of Mississippi

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Introduction

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pp. vii-xix

In what is apparently Tim Gautreaux’s first published interview, he tells his former student, Sheila Stroup, a humorous anecdote—that does not appear in his other interviews—about his becoming an English major. A student at Nicholls State University, in Thibodaux, Louisiana, he had planned to major...

Chronology

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pp. xxi-xxii

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He’s Got the Write Stuff

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pp. 3-4

He credits that ability to liking to tell stories and to reading the Catholic Messenger out loud when he was in elementary school in Morgan City, Louisiana. He read so well that one time his third-grade teacher took him upstairs and had him read to the sixth-graders, to show them how it should...

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Pelican Briefs

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pp. 5-7

When Tim Gautreaux writes his critically acclaimed short stories about Louisiana, recently published in the collection, Same Place, Same Things, he’s not writing about the land of dreamy dreams. His Louisiana is a tough place, where it’s hard to make a living. It’s a place where the land is swamp...

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A Conversation with Tim Gautreaux

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pp. 8-12

In a world characterized by increased transience, Tim Gautreaux is a writer with a strong sense of place. His accurate prose, both visual—“a yellow butterfly playing in a clump of pigweed”—and vernacular—“Whoo. Grendaddy can bust a move”—is culled from a lifetime spent keenly observing the...

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Best American Short Stories 1997

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pp. 13-16

Gautreaux: I think something that gets out of the box pretty quickly is one thing I try to produce; something that grabs the reader. Rust Hills said that every story starts with something called moving action, something out of the ordinary happening in a person’s life. And that point is where many...

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Novel Approach: Tim Gautreaux Takes “The Next Step”

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pp. 17-21

Hot off the success of his Same Place, Same Things collection of short stories, Morgan City native Tim Gautreaux debuts his first novel this month. The Next Step in the Dance (Picador) explores the rich and timeless Cajun culture of South Louisiana in a seriocomic tale that explores marriage, family...

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The Writer Next Door

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pp. 22-24

When Hammond writer Tim Gautreaux set out to write a novel following his critically acclaimed, Louisiana-set story collection, Same Place, Same Things, he knew what his subject would be—the oil bust of the ’80s. “It was a tremendously interesting time. So many people had to pull up stakes and...

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An Interview with Tim Gautreaux

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pp. 25-34

Tim Gautreaux was born and raised in Morgan City, Louisiana, a blue-collar, Gulf Coast city tied to Acadian culture. He lives in Hammond, Louisiana, with his wife, Winborne, where he is Writer in Residence at Southeastern Louisiana University. Gautreaux stories have appeared in Harper’s, the...

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Interview with Tim Gautreaux

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pp. 35-52

Tim Gautreaux, author of a collection of stories, Same Place, Same Things, and a novel, The Next Step in the Dance, was born in Morgan City, Louisiana. He studied English at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and received his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina, where...

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A Postmodern Southern Moralist and Storyteller: Tim Gautreaux

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pp. 53-68

Timothy Martin Gautreaux, who publishes as “Tim Gautreaux,” was born on 19 October 1947 in Morgan City, Louisiana. His fictional portrayals of working class characters from southern Louisiana—particularly those of the distinctive “Cajun” ethnic community, descendants of Acadian French...

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Tim Gautreaux

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pp. 69-72

Tim Gautreaux’s first novel, The Next Step in the Dance, won the 1999 Southeastern Booksellers Award. Born and reared in Louisiana, the author recently retired from his position as Writer-in-Residence at Southeastern Louisiana University and has spent the last few months researching his next...

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Tim Gautreaux: Author of The Clearing Talks with Robert Birnbaum

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pp. 73-86

Tim Gautreaux was born and raised in Louisiana and until his recent retirement taught writing at Southeast Louisiana University for thirty years. He has published two story collections, Same Place, Same Things and Welding with Children, as well as two novels, The Next Step in the Dance and recently...

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Tim Gautreaux: A Conversation with Darlene Meyering

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pp. 87-106

DM: Good afternoon and welcome to this time of interview with Tim Gautreaux. My name is Darlene Meyering, and I serve as executive associate to the president of Calvin College. I’ve always been an avid reader, a lover of words and books, bookstores and book discussions, and have been in a...

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Tim Gautreaux

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pp. 107-109

In his first ten years of writing fiction, Tim Gautreaux collected enough rejection slips to paper the four walls, ceiling, and filing cabinets in his office at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he taught creative writing for thirty years. His breakthrough came in 1990 when the Atlantic Monthly published one...

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An Interview with Tim Gautreaux

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pp. 110-119

Tim Gautreaux is the author of the short story collections Same Place, Same Things (1996) and Welding with Children (1999), and of the novels The Next Step in the Dance (1998) and The Clearing (2003). Born and raised in Morgan City, Louisiana, he grew up among blue-collar Cajuns. From this...

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A Catholic Who Happens to Write: An Interview with Tim Gautreaux

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pp. 120-127

Although Tim Gautreaux has made his mark as a fiction writer, he began his writing career as a poet, writing a volume of poetry for his dissertation at the University of South Carolina. He began teaching creative writing at Southeastern Louisiana University in 1972 and was later named writer in...

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An Interview with Tim Gautreaux: “Cartographer of Louisiana Back Roads”

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pp. 128-151

In his 1983 book, The People Called Cajuns, James Dorman observes that Cajuns “rarely speak for themselves” in the various sources that refer to them—historical, biographical, or literary—but that same year Louisiana’s Tim Gautreaux published his first short story, “A Sacrifice of Doves,” in the...

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A Conversation with Tim Gautreaux

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pp. 152-163

Tim Gautreaux was born in Morgan City, Louisiana, in 1947. He attended Nicholls State University and the University of South Carolina, where he earned a Ph.D. in English literature. In 1972 he began teaching creative writing at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he directed the creative...

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Tim Gautreaux’s The Missing

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pp. 164-181

Ashbrook: From WBUR Boston and NPR, I’m Tom Ashbrook and this is On Point. Louisiana writer Tim Gautreaux is son of a tugboat captain, grandson of a riverboat captain, and author of a new novel set on the Mississippi that follows the steamboat not in Mark Twain’s day but in the rough and tumble...

Index

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pp. 183-187


E-ISBN-13: 9781621036197
E-ISBN-10: 1617036080
Print-ISBN-13: 9781617036088

Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Literary Conversations Series