Mercer University Press recently sent me a lovely box of eye grabbing and interesting novels. All of these books are deeply Southern and fully alive in their storytelling. I think you would find yourself pleased to have any, or all, of them on your bookshelf. Check out the cover to Crackers - I love it!
Mercer University Press
All 3 Novels Available Now
Summer 2016 Releases
Sleeping Above Chaos
Ann has magic in her writing in that she easily gives vision to the scene, the characters and their voices. I was completely hooked into Ella Ruth and Buster by the first chapters. I felt like I knew them. I wanted to hug them close and provide comfort to both. Ann brought them fully alive to me.
relationship triangle from "East of Eden" and set it deep in the
Appalachian Mountains. Add a couple of ghosts, a good measure of
dysfunction, and a whole lot of twists and turns, and you have Ann
Hite's new Black Mountain novel, SLEEPING ABOVE CHAOS. Hite's fourth
novel returns to Swannanoa Gap, a small town at the foot of Black
Mountain, and introduces new characters while revisiting some favorites
from her previous novels.
Buster and Lee Wright are the sons of Swannanoa Gap's sheriff. Their
personalities couldn't be more opposite and these differences bring
conflicts that may not be resolved.
Ella Ruth Allen was born on Black Mountain. Her mama, a city girl, runs
off with another man, leaving the two-year-old Ella Ruth behind with
Paul Allen, her father. He in turn promptly dumps poor Ella Ruth on her
grandparents' farm to be raised by Grandmother Allen, a woman who has an
extreme dislike for her wild, runaway daughter-in-law.
Hite weaves a ghost story throughout each of her novels and this one is
no different. Ella Ruth follows a haint into the woods near the farm and
stumbles onto her family history. When her life crosses paths with
Buster and Lee Wright, fireworks explode.
The reader will travel to a ranch in Montana, to Pearl Harbor, and to
the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, while watching the cast of characters
struggle through World War II, emerging into adulthoods which would
weigh heavy on anyone's shoulders. The story ends as the Civil Rights
It's always so interesting to hear true account stories of our past. Nothing like getting the information from someone who actually lived those experiences, thoughts and feelings. A great book for the Southern recent history buff.
Crackers: A Southern Memoir
Bill Merritt grew up
in Atlanta, Georgia during the turbulent years between the end of World
War II and the Vietnam War. A joyously unreconstructed Southerner, he
looks on with amazement as Atlanta changes from a sleepy Southern town
into the City Too Busy to Hate. This was the time of Martin Luther King
and Ivan Allen, but also the time of Lester Maddox, the Temple Bombing,
great moral certainties, Elvis, Klan rallies, the Cuban Missile Crisis, a
corrupt political system keeping some of America's finest statesmen in
office (some since the Teddy Roosevelt administration), and a man named
Armstrong walking on the moon.
Merritt's family is eccentric and colorful, occasionally courageous,
often self-centered. This is the story of how the government took the
land they'd lived on for nine generations to use as a place to brew
poison gas during World War II, then changed it to Redstone Arsenal to
build rockets to the moon. It is the story of how the family was caught
up in the Orly Air Crash, the Vietnam War, and the emotional fallout
from a Cuban whose family had been murdered by Che Guevara. It is the
story of the way the Civil Rights Revolution looked to Southerners: to
decent people trying to honor their heritage while realizing the time
had come to let go of parts of that heritage, and how difficult that
letting go was made by the outsiders who most wanted change. This is the
story the way Southerners remember it-and tell each other.
A Southern Fiction novel that once again brings home the hard truths about our past, where race was a not so hidden barrier to friendship, and where every family has secrets.
Mary Anna Bryan
Margaret Norman lives
in a family with secrets, not the least of which is her own. But what
concerns Margaret more is that her family will not talk about her
mother, "Weezie," an artist who died shortly after Margaret was born.
Her father, Jim Norman, a brooding attorney, is too obsessed with his
own pain to share. Louisa, her older sister, is hostile toward Margaret
and ignores her. Black housekeeper, Ida, who is helping to raise
Margaret, does not think it her place to tell what others will not. And
gentle great aunt, Maggie, did not know Margaret's mother.
When close friend Lily May, Ida's daughter, suggests "There may be
stuff 'bout your momma folks oughtn't to know," Margaret rejects the
notion, and determines to find out all she can. Early impressions of her
mother as an ethereal beauty are strengthened when she discovers the
romantic inscription on Weezie's tombstone.
Those impressions change, however, when Margaret's art teacher-and
Weezie's best friend-gives her a painting of Weezie portrayed as a
gypsy. Finally, Ida shares what she knows, and Margaret must face
painful truths concerning her mother.
Set in the South during the 1930s and 1940s, CARDINAL HILL takes place
in a world where blacks and whites, although separated by custom and
law, often thrive in personal relationships; where half a world away, a
war disrupts lives of those close to home; and where little girls
suspect that kissing causes babies.