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University of South Carolina Press


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Ghosts of the Carolinas Cover

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Ghosts of the Carolinas

Nancy Roberts

This collection of supernatural tales includes "The Talking Corpse"; "The Hound of Goshen"; "The Ring"; "The Phantom Rider of Bush River"; "The Witch Cat"; "The Gray Man"; "Tsali, the Cherokee Brave"; "The Ghost of Litchfield"; "City of Death"; "Treasure Hunt"; "House of the Opening Door"; "The Ghosts of Hagley"; "Return from the Dead"; "Whistle While You Haunt"; "The Brown Mountain Lights"; "Alice of the Hermitage"; "The Night the Spirits Called"; and "Swamp Girl".

Ghosts of the Southern Mountains and Appalachia Cover

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Ghosts of the Southern Mountains and Appalachia

Nancy Roberts

Roberts writes stories from a wide variety of locations: "Night of the Hunt" in Hendersonville, North Carolina; "Return of the Bell Witch" in Adams, Tennessee; "The Shenandoah Stage" in New Market, Virginia; "Chain Gang Man" in Decatur, Alabama; "Fort Mountain" in Fort Mountain, Georgia; "Laura" in Campbellsville, Kentucky; "The Coming of the Demon" in Middleway, West Virginia.

Ghosts of the Wild West Cover

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Ghosts of the Wild West

Enlarged Edition, Including Five Never-Before-Published Stories

Nancy Roberts

Once deemed the "custodian of the twilight zone" by Southern Living, celebrated storyteller and ghost hunter Nancy Roberts returns to familiar subject matter in this newly expanded edition of her Ghosts of the Wild West, a finalist for the Spur Award of the Western Writers of America in its original edition. In these seventeen ghostly tales—including five new stories—Roberts expertly guides readers through eerie encounters and harrowing hauntings across Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and the Dakotas. Along the way her accounts intersect with the lives (and afterlives) of legendary figures such as Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and Doc Holliday. Roberts also justifies the fascination among ghost hunters, folklorists, and interested tourists with notoriously haunted locales such as Deadwood, Tombstone, and Abilene through her tales of paranormal legends linked to these gunslinger towns synonymous with violence and vice in Western lore. But not all of these encounters feature frightening specters or wandering souls. Roberts also details episodes of animal spirits, protective presences, and supernatural healings. Forever destined to be associated with adventure, romance, and risk taking, the Wild West of yore still haunts the American imagination. Roberts reminds us here that our imaginations aren't the only places where restless ghosts still roam.

Gleaning Ruth Cover

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Gleaning Ruth

A Biblical Heroine and Her Afterlives

Jennifer L. Koosed

The biblical story of Ruth celebrates the power to begin life anew, to gather what has been scattered, to glean what one needs. In this original approach to understanding an ancient love story, Jennifer L. Koosed crafts a multifaceted portrait of the Old Testament character of Ruth and of the demanding agricultural world in which her story unfolds. Highlighting the most complex aspects of the book—the relationships Ruth has with her mother-in-law, Naomi; sister-in-law, Orpah; future husband, Boaz; and infant son, Obed—Koosed explores the use of pairings to define Ruth's aspirational fortitude. Koosed also touches on the narrative's questions of sexuality, kinship, and law as well as the metaphoric activities of harvest that serve to advance the plot and illuminate the social and geographic context of Ruth's tale. From the private world of women to the public world of men, Koosed guides readers through the book of Ruth's revealing glimpses into the sociology of the ancient Hebrew world. The study concludes with a discussion of the postbiblical fascination with Ruth and her later representations in a variety of literary and visual media. Koosed's approach is eclectic, employing a host of methodologies from philology and theology to literature, folklore, and feminism. Thoughtful of the interests of both scholarly and lay audiences, Koosed presents inviting and compelling new insights into one of the Old Testament's most enigmatic characters.

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The Gold Seekers

Gold, Ghosts and Legends from Carolina to California

Nancy Roberts

This is the first book to tie together the earlier gold rush in the Carolinas and Georgia with the well-known California gold rush of 1849. It presents a history of the Southern gold rush and the legends that have grown up around it. Nancy Roberts tells how it all began in North Carolina, which supplied all the domestic gold coined at the U.S. Mint between 1804 and 1828. She tells the story of the discovery of the gold in Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Alabama and later in California and Colorado, including how the Virginia, Carolina and Georgia gold miners abandoned their mines within weeks after news arrived of the discovery of gold at Sutter's Creek. And, for a while, they were said to be the only experienced miners in the Western gold fields. Ms. Roberts recreates with gusto and suspense the experiences of real people—the adventurers and entrepreneurs, family men and rascals, immigrants and bandits, entertainers and miners—and also includes several tales of the supernatural from that period.

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A Grand Tour of Gardens

Traveling in Beauty through Western Europe and the United States

Anne Sinkler Whaley LeClercq

From Italy to Switzerland, Germany to Spain, and Philadelphia to New Orleans, Anne Sinkler Whaley LeClercq describes the beauty of different historic gardens in this collection of essays. A Grand Tour of Gardens: Traveling in Beauty through Western Europe and the United States showcases her excursions to historic gardens around the world. Through her own experiences LeClercq enables the garden adventurer to anticipate the world of color, design, and horticulture in each magnificent garden described here. The essays in A Grand Tour of Gardens are filled with history, plant lore, anecdote, and high-society gossip of the most famous public and private gardens of the United States and Europe. A Grand Tour of Gardens begins with an essay by LeClercq's mother, the late Emily Whaley. "Gardening as Art and Entertainment" discusses Whaley's iconic garden on Church Street in Charleston, South Carolina, and its other gardens that she knew and describes here. For every garden visited, LeClercq vividly details new combinations of horticultural art forms and enlivens the reader's imagination. Traveling to Claude Monet's Garden at Giverny, France; Frederick Law Olmstead's Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina; and the garden of Beatrice Rothschild on the Cote d'Azure, LeClercq features these gardens in words and illustrations. A Grand Tour of Gardens serves as a roadmap for viewing gardens worldwide and provides a set of rubrics for assessing design elements of each garden. The tips shared in these essays provide a visitor with the tools for deciphering the "language" of a nursery. In eight fun-filled chapters, A Grand Tour of Gardens takes the reader on a worldwide visit to the discovery of historic gardens as a source of art, inspiration, and entertainment.

Green Revolver Cover

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Green Revolver

Worthy Evans

Selected by David Baker, Green Revolver is the fifth annual winner of the South Carolina Poetry Book Prize and the first published collection by Worthy Evans. These verses resulted from a spontaneous outpouring of poems, pent up during a fourteen-year hiatus from the craft during which Evans worked as a professional reporter, writer, and editor. Much informed by the rapid-fire pace and cadence of his journalism background, Evans's narrative poems are grounded in concrete images of our shared reality and explore a range of imaginative versions of the poet as confident or frightened, loving or hateful, bold or timid, lost or profound. These poems seek a distinguishing personal truth—a sense of belonging in a world not altogether welcoming, or even that familiar, where violent impulses are as threatening as workday drudgery. In these daydreams given form, Henry Fonda wields the same authority as Henry V or Ward Cleaver. In this landscape where the familiar arches longingly toward the surreal, a cockeyed visionary might just find the right fantasy with which to escape the stultifying confinement of banal modernity, as represented by corporate office space and khaki dress slacks, army motor pools and basic training maneuvers, sprawling cityscapes and the omnipresent pestering responsibilities of adulthood in postmillennial America.

The Hard to Catch Mercy Cover

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The Hard to Catch Mercy

A Novel

William Baldwin

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.

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The Haunted South

Where Ghosts Still Roam

Nancy Roberts

This collection features such stories as "Passenger Train Number 9"; "The Little People"; "The Phantom Rider of the Confederacy"; "The Demon of Wizard Clip"; "Room for One More"; "Tavern of Terror"; "The Surrency Ghost"; "The King's Messengers"; "The Haunted Gold Mine"; "The Singing River"; "The Gray Lady"; "Railroad Bill"; and "The Haunted Car".

Have You Considered My Servant Job? Cover

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Have You Considered My Servant Job?

Understanding the Biblical Archetype of Patience

Samuel E. Balentine

The question that launches Job’s story is posed by God at the outset of the story: “Have you considered my servant Job?” (1:8; 2:3). By any estimation the answer to this question must be yes. The forty-two chapters that form the biblical story have in fact opened the story to an ongoing practice of reading and rereading, evaluating and reevaluating. Early Greek and Jewish translators emphasized some aspects of the story and omitted others; the Church Fathers interpreted Job as a forerunner of Christ, while medieval Jewish commentators debated conservative and liberal interpretations of God’s providential love. Artists, beginning at least in the Greco-Roman period, painted and sculpted their own interpretations of Job. Novelists, playwrights, poets, and musicians—religious and irreligious, from virtually all points of the globe—have added their own distinctive readings. In Have You Considered My Servant Job?, Samuel E. Balentine examines this rich and varied history of interpretation by focusing on the principal characters in the story—Job, God, the satan figure, Job’s wife, and Job’s friends. Each chapter begins with a concise analysis of the biblical description of these characters, then explores how subsequent readers have expanded or reduced the story, shifted its major emphases or retained them, read the story as history or as fiction, and applied the morals of the story to the present or dismissed them as irrelevant. Each new generation of readers is shaped by different historical, cultural, and political contexts, which in turn require new interpretations of an old yet continually mesmerizing story. Voltaire read Job one way in the eighteenth century, Herman Melville a different way in the nineteenth century. Goethe’s reading of the satan figure in Faust is not the same as Chaucer’s in The Canterbury Tales, and neither is fully consonant with the Testament of Job or the Qur’an. One need only compare the descriptions of God in the biblical account with the imaginative renderings by Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, and Franz Kafka to see that the effort to understand why God afflicts Job “for no reason” (2:3) continues to be both compelling and endlessly complicated.

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