Banner Books Series

Published by: University Press of Mississippi

Go

Browse Books in Series:

Banner Books Series

1

Results 1-8 of 8

:
Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

Fire in the Morning

Elizabeth Spencer

Admirers of Elizabeth Spencer's writing will welcome back into print her first novel, and her new readers will discover the sources of her notable talent in this book. Published in 1948 to extraordinary attention from such eminent writers as Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, and Katherine Anne Porter, this father-and-son story revolves around an old southern theme of family grievances and vendettas.


Fire in the Morning recounts the conflict between two families extending over two generations up to the 1930s.The arrival of an innocent stranger flares old arguments and ignites new passions. In Spencer's compelling tale of the half-forgotten violence, the well-deep understanding of father and son, Kinloch Armstrong, the young hero, confronts mysteries of the past. His wife, a newcomer to the area and its legacies, makes friends with a family of traditional rivals. After she is involved in a nighttime wreck and the death of a local man, the past gradually comes to light, and the two families once again become caught up in revelations, hatreds, and conflicts. Spencer faithfully renders the setting--a small, dusty Mississippi town--and the surrounding countryside as it was in the early twentieth century.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

Jujitsu for Christ

Jack Butler

Jack Butler's Jujitsu for Christ--originally published in 1986--follows the adventures of Roger Wing, a white born-again Christian and karate instructor who opens a martial arts studio in downtown Jackson, Mississippi, during the tensest years of the Civil Rights era. Ambivalent about his religion and his region, he befriends the Gandys, an African-American family--parents A.L. and Snower Mae, teenaged son T.J., daughter Eleanor Roosevelt, and youngest son Marcus--who has moved to Jackson from the Delta in hopes of greater opportunity for their children.

As the political heat rises, Roger and the Gandys find their lives intersecting in unexpected ways. Their often-hilarious interactions are told against the backdrop of Mississippi's racial trauma--Governor Ross Barnett's "I Love Mississippi" speech at the 1962 Ole Miss-Kentucky football game in Jackson; the riots at the University of Mississippi over James Meredith's admission; the fieldwork of Medgar Evers, the NAACP, and various activist organizations; and the lingering aura of Emmett Till's lynching.

Drawing not only on William Faulkner's gothic-modernist Yoknapatawpha County but also on Edgar Rice Burroughs's high-adventure Martian pulps, Jujitsu for Christ powerfully illuminates vexed questions of racial identity and American history, revealing complexities and subtleties too often overlooked. It is a remarkable novel about the civil rights era, and how our memories of that era continue to shape our political landscape and to resonate in contemporary conversations about southern identity. But, mostly, it's very funny, in a mode that's experimental, playful, sexy, and disturbing all at once.

Butler offers a new foreword to the novel. Brannon Costello, a scholar of contemporary southern literature and fan of Butler's work, writes an afterword that situates the novel in its historical context and in the southern literary canon.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

A Lifetime Burning

Ellen Douglas

So spontaneous is the writing in A Lifetime Burning, one might believe these are indeed words of a woman desperately trying to understand what has happened to her life, beginning with the fact that her husband has stopped sleeping with her.


Why? Is there a rival--perhaps "The Toad," the unattractive housewife next door--or someone else, who will completely surprise the reader, as do many of the events of the protagonist's story? At age sixty-two, Corinne must grapple with the most painful truth that her lifelong passion--which is anyone's passion, to love and be loved, body and soul--could burn unquenched forever. Her imaginative narrative even when she is lying is as revealing as bedrock truth. A Lifetime Burning is as real as life itself--a novel shimmering and vital and recognizably true. Gripping, smart, suspenseful, and at times, wonderfully witty, Douglas's widely acclaimed book forms a searching and searing record of love, anger, confession, and discovery.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

The Night Travellers

Elizabeth Spencer

Elizabeth Spencer is "a master storyteller" (San Francisco Chronicle), her work called "dazzling" by Walker Percy. Whether she's writing short stories or novels, Spencer is acclaimed for holding her worlds up to light and turning them to see what they reflect. The Night Travellers, set in North Carolina and Montreal during the Vietnam War years, is her most revealing work yet.

Mary Kerr Harbison is a promising teenaged dancer when she meets Jefferson Blaise, an intellectual radical-in-the-making. He becomes a part of her life and over the objections of Mary's wealthy, abusive mother, her husband.

But although Jeff's heart is devoted to Mary, his life is devoted to protesting the Vietnam War--at first through the public rallies, later through guerilla tactics. As Jeff is drawn deeper and deeper into the movement, he and Mary are forced to go underground and eventually move to Canada. Jeff's activities keep him on the move, and Mary, living in Montreal, struggles to raise her daughter and make a life for herself.

An exploration of a dramatic period in our history, The Night Travellers is a powerful depiction of lives forever changed by political beliefs and fervidly held convictions.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

On the Gulf

Elizabeth Spencer

The magnetic appeal of land, sea, and sky along the southern coast has drawn Elizabeth Spencer many times to this lush and semitropical setting. This collection brings together six of her stories set amid terrain lapped by the warm coastal currents. These stories all happen on the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico, from New Orleans to Florida. In each a girl or young woman gives voice to the narrative, probing and groping for a secure place and identity.


The six stories included here are "On the Gulf," "The Legacy," "A Fugitive's Wife," "Mr. McMillan," "Go South in the Winter," and "Ship Island." Each reveals the special allure of the Gulf Coast region through the author's depiction of character and engagement with the complexities of plot. In these stories that illuminate the lives of sundry females--from insecure waifs to novice seductresses--Spencer investigates female psyche, a topic which lies at the core of much of her fiction.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

The Rock Cried Out

Ellen Douglas

This story of the modern South, of love denied and love fulfilled, is a powerful account of the potential for violence that underlies this country's passionate history. Ellen Douglas, a native of Mississippi and a prize-winning novelist of rare distinction, reveals the turbulent changes that rocked the South in the sixties and continue to this day.


No event is predictable in this powerful novel. A young man who has spent several years in the North returns to his native Mississippi seeking rural peace. But solitude is not to be his, for soon he is caught up again in a traumatic event that happened seven years before in 1964--the death in an auto accident of the beautiful young cousin whom he loved.


As the story unfolds, the people who were involved in that senseless tragedy reveal their part in it, and as they do, the reader becomes intensely involved not only in their lives but in what it means to be black or white in the modern South.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

The Snare

Elizabeth Spencer

It is well known that New Orleans has its dark underside as well as its glowing visible delights. The journey that Julia Garrett, an intelligent, attractive, but psychically driven girl, makes through the city's hidden labyrinth shapes the movement of this riveting novel. In crisscrossing the city from the secure world of home in the Garden District to the titillating world of the Vieux Carré, Julia risks physical and psychological peril. As she explores life on the other side, she becomes engulfed in the vortex of evil.


In The Snare, one of America's most highly acclaimed fiction writers explores the mystery of place and the mystifying duality of the human wish, with its desire for both dark and light. The book masterfully evokes the ineffable sense of excitement aroused by the sinister, exotic beauty of New Orleans and the men and women who inhabit its fecund streets.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

Where the Dreams Cross

Ellen Douglas

Nat Stonebridge is a thirtyish divorcee who, because of her sexy good looks and incorruptible disregard for convention, has stayed in trouble most of her life. Stranded at home in Philippi, a small town in the Mississippi Delta, after a divorce from her well-to-do husband, she is broke, bored, and unconcerned for anyone except herself. Looking for excitement, she becomes involved with Floyd Shotwell, the strange, solitary son of a rich and ruthless businessman.


By turns ironic and funny and threatening as the raw land in which it takes place, the couple's story moves toward a violent climax in which not only Nat's physical safety, but the financial security of her family, are at stake. Douglas explores the theme of moral commitment as Nat is confronted with a decision, a sacrifice, which she knows will earn her only contempt. In turn, her friend, the gentle and reflective Wilburn Griffith, is forced to face the obsessive Shotwell with a weapon he abhors.

1

Results 1-8 of 8

:

Return to Browse All Series on Project MUSE

Series

Banner Books Series

Content Type

  • (8)

Access

  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access