Friday, May 11, 2018

New Fiction from Mercer University Press

Idgie Says:
Here are two new books from Mercer that stand on opposite sides of the track.  One is gritty and mean-hearted while the other is a collection of stories based on optimism. The writing is strong in each book, and the stories grab your attention immediately.

Both perfectly sized for the beach or pool this Summer! I suggest you start with Easter Weekend and finish up with Dixie Luck.

Books are available for purchase now.


Easter Weekend
David Bottoms

Easter weekend in Macon, Georgia: Connie Hotlzclaw is a good-hearted ex-boxer and small-time loser who can't keep out of trouble. He dreams of carrying his girlfriend, Rita Estes, a pretty Waffle House waitress, away to a ranch in Montana and a new start, away from the hamburger grease and petty hoods. His brother, Carl, though, has other ideas.

He wants a big score, and he convinces pliable Connie to join in a kidnapping--an easy mark, a sure thing, a rich local college kid whose mother, of course, will do anything to get him back. All goes well, the boy's mother waits in a nearby hotel with the ransom money, and for a moment it seems Connie may get his dream of Rita and a Montana ranch.

That's when the local mob muscles in on the job. Tommy, a murderous gangster and crazy as only a pure American product can be, brings in a couple of his strong boys to up the stakes, and a final showdown over the ransom money develops at Rose Hill Cemetery--for Connie a place of violence, death, and maybe a new beginning.

In this gritty novel of loss, violence, and redemption, a distinguished American poet explores the dark world last seen in the novels of James M. Cain, where death lurks everywhere and a new beginning is always just out of reach.


Dixie Luck
Andy Plattner

DIXIE LUCK features stories about hardy gamblers, look-on-the-bright-side salesmen, and other brands of optimistic Southerners.

The stories are set in locales from Hot Springs, Arkansas, to the Atlantic Coast; each city or town seems to hold its own version of good fortune.

The collection also includes the Faulkner Award-winning novella TERMINAL, a tale that finds a husband and wife reuniting in hopes of finding one final cash-out at the windows.

The stories are literary--they study characters who try to stay honest and upbeat in the face of stacked odds. In "Valdosta," a salesman tries to look at the bright side of a product promotion that deals with disaster preparation. "Confetti" is a story about a gambler who cannot find the right words to say to a woman he loves; he takes a good day at the racetrack as a sign he is still heading in the right direction with her. In another story, "Resort Life," the narrator escapes his troubled family life by focusing on his work as a hotel manager. He believes a life of complication will not find him there.