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Aunt Jane Of Kentucky Cover

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Aunt Jane Of Kentucky

Eliza Calvert Hall

This collection of short stories about the fictional quiltmaker Aunt Jane Parish was originally published in 1907 by Caroline Obenchain (who published under the name of Eliza Calvert Hall). Known for her gentle folk wisdom, Aunt Jane vividly describes a picturesque way of life in the rural South of the nineteenth century.

Auslander Cover

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Auslander

Mary Powell

Auslander—the German word for “outsider.” In this novel, four women explore the many ways one can be an outsider geographically, culturally, and emotionally. They chronicle the life of the Jahn family in the close-knit German community of Schoenberg, Texas, during the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Their counterpoint dialogues draw us into the family’s marriages and separations, births and deaths, business failures, and moments of joy and into the German-Texan culture with its sometimes rigid traditions and prejudices. The voices we hear are from Queenie, matriarch of the family and wife of Beno; Carol Anne, the bride of Queenie’s son, Fritz; Vera, the niece Queenie and Beno tried to raise as a daughter; and Sheila, Carol Anne’s cabaret-singing mother from Houston.

Fritz Jahn, young, ambitious, and reserved, is the center around which the four women revolve. He truly loves Carol Anne but cannot understand her inability to settle down in Schoenberg. His closeness with Vera threatens to go beyond brotherly love and complicates Vera’s relationship with Carol Anne and Queenie. Sheila is worldwise, practical and puzzled by conventional family life. Perhaps the most compelling voice belongs to Queenie, the one who holds the family together. Speaking in the inverted sentence structure of those for whom German is the more natural language, she interprets and comments on what she sees with insight and wisdom.

Mary Powell, a resident of the Hill Country, captures that area’s climate and geography in rich descriptions of fields and wildflowers and terrifyingly real scenes of a flash flood. She is equally insightful in portraying the lingering German culture of small towns like Schoenberg.

In Auslander Powell creates a powerful and realistic story of a family defined by their heritage yet sharing universal joys and sorrows.

Babi Yar Symphony Cover

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Babi Yar Symphony

This unique work lifts the African question out of the dust. Against the backdrop of prison life, it explores the complex reality of being an African in today's world. Through the tight sensitivity and illuminating knowledge of its two principal characters, themselves victims of misplaced justice, greed and lust, it captures the pain and sadness that almost always comes in the wake of betrayal and egotism. The work's message is strong, and is delivered with equal strength by characters whose individual convictions also sway us to their side. We have here a new, powerful shaft of light on the landscape of recent African writing.

Back in No Time Cover

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Back in No Time

The Brion Gysin Reader

Jason Weiss

Brion Gysin (1916–1986) was a visual artist, historian, novelist, and an experimental poet credited with the discovery of the ‘cut-up’ technique -- a collage of texts, not pictures -- which his longtime collaborator William S. Burroughs put to more extensive use. He is also considered one of the early innovators of sound poetry, which he defines as ‘getting poetry back off the page and into performance.’ Back in No Time gathers materials from the entire Gysin oeuvre: scholarly historical study, baroque fiction, permutated and cut-up poetry, unsettling memoir, selections from The Process and The Last Museum, and his unproduced screenplay of Burroughs’ novel Naked Lunch. In addition, the Reader contains complete texts of several Gysin pieces that are difficult to find, including “Poem of Poems,” “The Pipes of Pan,” and “A Quick Trip to Alamut.”

Back Yonder Cover

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Back Yonder

An Ozark Chronicle

Originally released in 1932, Wayman Hogue’s Back Yonder is a rare and entertaining memoir of life in rural Arkansas during the decades following the Civil War. Using family legends, personal memories, and events from Arkansas history, Hogue, like his contemporary Laura Ingalls Wilder, creatively weaves a narrative of a family making its way in rugged, impoverished, and sometimes violent places.

From one-room schoolhouses to moonshiners, the details in Hogue’s story capture the essence of a particular time and place, even as the characters reflect a universal quality that endears them to the modern reader. This reissue of Back Yonder, the first in the Chronicles of the Ozarks series, features an introduction by historian Brooks Blevins that explores the life of Charles Wayman Hogue, analyzes the people and events that inspired the book, and places the volume in the context of America’s discovery of the Ozarks in the years between the World Wars.

Backwoods Tales Cover

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Backwoods Tales

Paddy McGann, Sharp Snaffles, and Bill Bauldy

William Gilmore Simms, Introduction by Keen Butterworth, James L. W. West III, General Editor

The twelfth volume in the ongoing Arkansas Edition of the works of William Gilmore Simms, Backwoods Tales brings together three of the best examples of his comic writing. All were written during the last decade of Simms’s life, when he had become a master of his craft. These three tales belong in the tradition of southern backwoods humor, a genre that flourished before the Civil War and produced classic tales by such authors as George Washington Harris, Johnson Jones Hooper, and Thomas Bangs Thorpe. Paddy McGann, “Sharp Snaffles,” and “Bill Bauldy” are all frame tales, told by rustic narrators in authentic dialect, with frequent pauses for libation and comment. These three pieces of writing, never before published together, stand among the best examples of American humor of the nineteenth century.

The Bad Samaritan Cover

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The Bad Samaritan

The Bad Samaritan is set in a kleptomaniac and highly corrupt imaginary African country called Ewawa. Due to mismanagement, financial institutions collapse. Salaries are slashed and there is unprecedented unemployment leading to country exodus. Professor Esole and his wife are not only aggrieved by the salary slashes, but also by the dubious closure of the Post Office Savings Bank with their savings. Desperate for money, they resort to borrowing from private sources at exorbitant interest rates. Esole toddles into politics with the aim of righting things. Will his naÔve approach to politics make or mar?

Bai Ganyo Cover

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Bai Ganyo

Incredible Tales of a Modern Bulgarian

Aleko Konstantinov

A comic classic of world literature, Aleko Konstantinov’s 1895 novel Bai Ganyo follows the misadventures of rose-oil salesman Ganyo Balkanski (“Bai” is a Bulgarian title of intimate respect) as he travels in Europe. Unkempt but endearing, Bai Ganyo blusters his way through refined society in Vienna, Dresden, and St. Petersburg with an eye peeled for pickpockets and a free lunch. Konstantinov’s satire turns darker when Bai Ganyo returns home—bullying, bribing, and rigging elections in Bulgaria, a new country that had recently emerged piecemeal from the Ottoman Empire with the help of Czarist Russia.
    Bai Ganyo has been translated into most European languages, but now Victor Friedman and his fellow translators have finally brought this Balkan masterpiece to English-speaking readers, accompanied by a helpful introduction, glossary, and notes.
 
Winner, Bulgarian Studies Association Book Prize
 
Finalist, ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year in the Fiction-Multicultural category

The Baileys Harbor Bird and Booyah Club Cover

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The Baileys Harbor Bird and Booyah Club

Dave Crehore

Open this book and you are in Door County, Wisconsin, strolling down Coot Lake Road—a one-lane, dead-end gravel track just a few miles from Baileys Harbor and the Lake Michigan shore. Along the way you meet George and Helen O’Malley, who are growing old gracefully. Russell, their brave and empathetic golden retriever, wags hello and offers you a paw to shake.
    The Olsons and the Berges live just down the road. Bump Olson is the local septic tank pumper and birdwatcher extraordinaire, and Hans Berge, MD, PhD, was at one time the only Norwegian psychiatrist in Chicago—or so he says. In a cottage out by the highway, you may spot Lloyd Barnes, ex–Tennessee state trooper, hound fancier, and local man of mystery. Uncle Petter Sorenson, visiting from Grand Forks, takes the polar bear plunge at Jacksonport. Around the neighborhood you’ll meet Deputy Doug, the flirtatious cellist Debbie Dombrowski, and Italian import Rosa Zamboni.
    Dave Crehore’s sketches of life on the Door peninsula also expound on:
•    the delights of codfish pizza
•    how to insult Canadians
•    what to expect at your fiftieth high school reunion
•    how to lose a school board election
•    the prevention of creeping old-fogyism
•    Marilyn, a buxom eight-pound smallmouth bass
•    and what goes on in the winter, when no one is there.

 

Baja Oklahoma Cover

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Baja Oklahoma

Dan Jenkins

Dan Jenkins' second best-known novel, Baja Oklahoma, features protagonist Juanita Hutchins, who can cuss and politically commentate with the best of Jenkins' male protagonists. Still convincingly female, though in no way dumb and girly, fortyish Juanita serves drinks to the colorful crew patronizing Herb's Cafe in South Fort Worth, worries herself sick over a hot-to-trot daughter proving too fond of drugs and the dealers who sell them, endures a hypochondriac mother whose whinings would justify murder, dates a fellow middle-ager whose connections with the oil industry are limited to dipstick duty at his filling station—and, by the way, she also hopes to become a singer-songwriter in the real country tradition of Bob Wills and Willie Nelson. That Juanita is way too old to remain a kid with a crazy dream doesn't matter much to her. In between handing out longneck beers to customer-acquaintances battling hot flashes and deciding when boyfriend Slick is finally going to get lucky, Juanita keeps jotting down lyrics reflective of hard-won wisdom and setting them to music composed on her beloved Martin guitar. Too many of her early songwriting results are one-dimensional or derivative, but finally she hits on something both original and heartfelt: a tribute to her beloved home state, warts and all.

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