Gay, like Faulkner, usually writes of his own postage stamp of land, rarely straying far. And Gay tends to set his work in the Tennessee of the forties and fifties, a Tennessee of dirt roads, considerable isolation, and insulation from outside influences.
There are twelve novels and three volumes of stories by Lee Smith, and On Agate Hill marks a new turning. After several novels inspired by the culture around her, Smith has written her first genuinely historical novel.
Since his death in 1990, there have been several biographies written on Walker Percy, author of The Moviegoer, Love in the Ruins, The Second Coming, and a shelf of other works, both fiction and nonfiction. The purpose of Harwell's research is to gather some of the stories and anecdotes and "fill in some of the details of . . . [Percy's] life, to add a little color to the background . . . in the words of different people who knew him."
Marlette's second novel, Magic Time, also has a biographical dimension like his first novel, The Bridge, which chronicled the life of his grandmother, whom he had not known well. Magic Time chronicles the life of a teenage boy, living in Laurel, Mississippi, in the 1960s, during the turmoil of the civil rights movement.
Sena Jeter Naslund wrote Four Spirits from memory. Ahab's Wife, however, a novel of New England in the nineteenth century, is deeply researched, and Abundance even more so. She has learned most of what is known about Marie and Louis, and this novel is as accurate as historical fiction is likely to be.
Livingston Press specializes in offbeat literature, and The Longest Pregnancy qualifies beautifully. Each of the fourteen stories in this book is, in some way or other, odd. These are all "what if" stories: the reader grants the premise and then goes along for the ride.
Frank Turner Hollon, a practicing attorney in Baldwin County, Alabama, has been turning out short murder-suspense novels at an incredible pace. Blood and Circumstance is his sixth of these since 1999, and he has also published a children's book, Glitter Girl and the Crazy Cheese.
Joshilyn Jackson, after only one year from publishing gods in Alabama, is back. Although the population of Between, Georgia is tiny, the reader may rest assured that the inhabitants have gigantic eccentricities.