Arts & Life

Strangers and Sojourners

Jun 14, 2004

Strangers and Sojourners is a collection of twenty-one stories that are interlinked by place--they all take place in fictional Coosawaw County, just north of Charleston--by recurring characters, and by an interest in the spiritual, in the most ecumenical sense.

James L. Noles, Jr., an attorney and independent historian from Birmingham, has told the story of the Liscome Bay from the laying of her keel in the Kaiser shipyards in Washington State to the aftermath of the sinking and even a cluster of brief biographies of some of the survivors.

The Clearing

May 31, 2004

I have recently read in the New York Times that the percentage of trade fiction purchased by males has dropped from thirty-three to about twenty percent. Gentlemen: if you are going to read one new novel in 2004, let it be this one. You won't be sorry.

Hallowed Bones

May 17, 2004

Sarah Booth Delaney, an orphan, in her thirties, after an unsuccessful attempt to establish an acting career in New York City, has returned to the family home, Dahlia House, in Zinnia, Sunflower County, in the Mississippi Delta.

Hallowed Bones

Them Bones, Buried Bones, Splintered Bones, Crossed Bones, and now Hallowed Bones?Carolyn Haines? fifth Sarah Booth Delaney mystery novel and her best yet.

Shebang

May 10, 2004

It is not unusual for many fiction writers to set their first novels on campus or at least in the town of their artistic birth. Valerie Vogrin, has set her first novel, Shebang, on what I take to be 13th Street of Tuscaloosa, right up from Abernathy's Market.

Shebang

Inside Alabama

Apr 12, 2004

i>Inside Alabama is "a commentary, an extended essay on events and attitudes that I think made and make Alabama what it is today."

Inside Alabama

A Sunday In June

Apr 5, 2004

In A Sunday in May, Perry has produced a "prequel" to Stigmata. This novel takes place again in Johnson Creek, Alabama, south of Union Springs, and chronicles the lives of the Mobley family from 1915 until 1963.

A Sunday In June

Dirty South

Mar 29, 2004

Atkins has just published his fourth Nick Travers suspense/mystery novel. The heart of any such series is the sleuth, of course, and Nick, established in the first novel, Crossroad Blues, is quite a creation.

Dirty South

Here's the first thing you need to know about Ace Atkins: Ace is his real name. It is on his birth certificate.

The Ocean Was Salt

Mar 8, 2004

Loretta Cobb of Montevallo has watched her husband, Bill, write fiction for the last thirty years, so it's no surprise that after her retirement as Director of the Writing Center there, she took up short story writing herself. Her first collection, The Ocean Was Salt, has now been published, and the ten stories are varied and pleasing.

The Ocean Was Salt

Slow Way Home

Mar 1, 2004

Slow Way Home is rough. It sometimes appears to be a less than final draft of a novel, especially in the final third. Perhaps there was pressure on Morris to publish while there was still word of mouth about A Place Called Wiregrass.

Slow Way Home

Waiting For April

Feb 16, 2004

Waiting for April is Scott Morris's second novel. April is of a mixed nature, a tragi-comedy so to speak--as dark as rape and murder one minute and surprisingly funny the next.

Waiting For April

Waiting for April is Scott Morris's second novel. April is of a mixed nature, a tragi-comedy so to speak--as dark as rape and murder one minute and surprisingly funny the next.

Four Spirits

Feb 9, 2004

Forty years and six volumes of fiction after living through the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, AL, Naslund had achieved huge success with the novel Ahab's Wife, and has done in fiction what Diane McWhorter has done in prose: told her version of the story of that time and place.

Four Spirits

Weren't No Good Times

Feb 2, 2004

Randall Williams has entitled the book Weren't No Good Times, but readers will be startled by the mellow nature of many of the answers. The book is founded on the oral history project of the Great Depression days when writers interviewed former slaves about their recollections of the Civil War and slavery.

Weren't No Good Times

When the Finch Rises

Jan 26, 2004

In the year 2000 Jack Riggs was chosen in Nashville as one of the South's "Emerging New Voices," and now When the Finch Rises has been blurbed by Lee Smith, Jill McCorkle, Silas House, Fred Chappell, Lewis Nordan, and Clyde Edgerton. In a kind of imprimatur, Edgerton says, "Riggs's up-and-coming days are over. He's here." Well, I don't think so. Not yet.

When the Finch Rises

Redneck Riviera

Jan 19, 2004

Dennis Covington of Birmingham showed in 1995 that he belongs on the top shelf of writers of creative nonfiction with the publication of Salvation on Sand Mountain. Covington's readers have been looking forward to Redneck Riviera for almost nine years now, and, sad to say, they will be disappointed.

Redneck Riviera

Willem's Field

Jan 12, 2004

Willem is conscious of what he is doing and how he appears to others, but he can't stop himself. First he loses control of his utterances, much like a Tourette's Syndrome victim. He begins to babble, then rage, to yell at the top of his lungs.

The Spider's Web

Dec 12, 2003

At the age of fourteen, in 1954, Greenhaw, and his protagonist alter-ego Thomas Morgan Reed, developed scoliosis, a severe curvature of the spine. In The Spider's Web Thomas must endure a year of excruciating operations and body casts.

The Spider's Web

I Am a Soldier, Too

Nov 24, 2003

...her right arm was shattered. Her spine was fractured in two places, her right foot was crushed, and her left leg broken in two places. In addition, she was sexually assaulted.

Baby, Let's Make a Baby

Nov 17, 2003

A drug-crazed redneck is heading down the highway with his kidnapped girlfriend in the trunk. A nervous middle-aged man is driving on a date, and a hundred miles away a young female college professor is getting into her car with her 21-year-old-student lover to drive to Florida to declare their lesbian love to her probably unsuspecting parents.

Baby, Let's Make a Baby

Tuscaloosa Golf Course Closes

Nov 13, 2003

A Tragic Honesty

Nov 10, 2003

In conversation, Yates was courteous, but not very communicative. Since he smoked four packs a day, had terminal emphysema, and had had pneumonia, pleurosis, and tuberculosis, he had little breath to spare.

Washington, DC – On Capitol Hill, the senate judiciary committee is investigating whether college football's bowl championship series is equitable to small division one universities around the country. Traditional football powers like Alabama and Auburn are part of the BCS. But smaller schools are excluded. Chad Pergram reports from Capitol Hill.

Beyond the Burning Bus

Oct 27, 2003

The mob, which had followed in a convoy, attacked, burned the bus, and beat, brutally, the riders who fled the flames.

Beyond the Burning Bus

Tuscaloosa, AL – University of Alabama Goalkeeper Laura Lowman practices her footwork. She has already recorded four shutouts this season for her Crimson Tide soccer team, but she still hasn't forgotten a stinging encounter a few years ago with Birmingham native Catherine Reddick.

"Catherine Reddick and I played against each other in high school. She played for Briarwood Christian and I played for Grissom High School. I remember a specific game where she scored four goals on me, and that was kind of embarrassing."

Kentuck Art Festival Draws Thousands

Oct 20, 2003
-picture by Brett Tannehill

Lunch at the Piccadilly

Oct 13, 2003

"We need a worldwide movement that will work to make churches and nursing homes interchangeable."

Lunch at the Piccadilly

Clyde Edgerton is without doubt one of the funniest authors working today. But, in his sixth novel, Lunch at the Piccadilly, he has chosen as his subject the nursing home: old, ill, crippled, even dying people. Is this funny? Can it be made funny? Yes, it can, and at the same time a thoughtful and respectful tone is maintained.

In a Temple of Trees

Oct 6, 2003

Do not think you can give this novel to your old aunt for Christmas, but it may be, if you are made of sturdy stuff, you can read it yourself.

In a Temple of Trees

Blues Musician Willie King -- Full Interview

Oct 1, 2003

Tuscaloosa, AL – Blues musician Willie King hails from Pickens County, Alabama. He was featured in Martin Scorsese's documentary "Feel Like Going Home," one of a series of documentaries airing nationally on public television. The features are part of 2003's designation as "Year of the Blues."

Willie King played a gig at Dreamland Barbecue in Tuscaloosa Friday, 9/26. Before the set, he spoke with Alabama Public Radio's Butler Cain at length about his history with the Blues and what he hopes to accomplish.

Blues Artist Willie King -- Full Interview

Sep 30, 2003

Tuscaloosa, AL – Blues musician Willie King hails from Pickens County, Alabama. He was featured in Martin Scorsese's documentary "Feel Like Going Home," one of a series of documentaries airing nationally on public television. The features are part of 2003's designation as "Year of the Blues."

Willie King played a gig at Dreamland Barbecue in Tuscaloosa Friday, 9/26. Before the set, he spoke with Alabama Public Radio's Butler Cain at length about his history with the Blues and what he hopes to accomplish.

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