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Archive for August, 2006

Nashville Scene Calls Ali Dubyiah Author The Literary Patriot

Thursday, August 31st, 2006 by Brian Seidman

The Nashville Scene featured John Egerton’s hilarious and provocative new book Ali Dubyiah and the Forty Thieves on their cover today, calling the political parody both “endless fun” and “unforgiving.” From the article:

The ugly side of America is the target of Ali Dubyiah and the Forty Thieves, Egerton’s debut work of fiction. At first glance, its premise seems even more at odds with his image than his fondness for Jim ‘n Nick’s barbecue. This careful historian has produced a futuristic satirical fantasy aimed squarely at the present state of American politics. The book, told as a fable, begins in “the night-darkened end of the third millennium” when a mysterious figure named Ibrahim Barzouni recounts the story of an ancient American king, Fratbush, who came to power unexpectedly, and by questionable means. His cronies include Dick “The Mole” Chaingang, Donald “Dr. Toughlove” Rumsfailed and Karl “Babyface” Machiavrovelli. As Ibrahim Barzouni tells the story, Fratbush (a.k.a. Ali Dubyiah) embarks on a power-mad quest for global domination, driven by a combination of unfettered ego and primitive religious ideology. He begins his stomp across the globe in pursuit of (who else?) former ally Osama bin Hiden, now an avowed enemy of America and leader of a “soulless band of homicidal fanatics.” When that quest fails, Fratbush turns his attention to attacking another repulsive ex-friend, Saddam Gomorrah, which doesn’t go so well, either.

Read the entire article online at The Nashville Scene.

Ali Dubyiah and the Forty Thieves will be available in mid-September 2006; pre-order now from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online book retailer.

John Egerton will also appear this weekend at the Atlanta Journal Constitution Decatur Book Festival. To learn more, visit www.decaturbookfestival.com.

Birmingham Civil Rights Walking Tour

Thursday, August 31st, 2006 by Randall Williams

It’s too late for this year, but if you’re interested in civil rights history and will be in Birmingham next summer, save this: Birmingham educator Barry McNealy conducts “Milestones Walking Tours” of the sites made famous in 1963’s civil rights protests in downtown Birmingham. Included are the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church where the four girls died in the bombing; the Kelly Ingram Park where Bull Connor unleashed dogs and turned firehoses on demonstrators, the nearby federal courthouse, the jail where Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his famous letter, and other sites, including the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. This year McNealy gave his tour at 10 a.m. every Saturday in June and July. For more information about future tours, call 205-328-9696.

Tubby Meets Katrina in the News as New Orleans Commemorates Hurricane Katrina

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006 by Brian Seidman

In its coverage of the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, New Orlean’s Times Picayune newspaper has offered special mention of New Orleans writer Tony Dunbar’s Hurricane Katrina novel Tubby Meets Katrina. In Susan Larson’s article “Wordstorm,” she mentions Tubby Meets Katrina as the first Hurricane Katrina novel; in her article “Read ‘Em and Weep: Looking at the Katrina books, my way,” Larson goes on to recall drinking lemonade with Dunbar one afternoon after the storm.

“Writers are the sharecroppers of this situation,” Dunbar said. “First there was the ‘I can’t believe it’s going to happen,’ then the shock that it did happen, and now the determination to rebuild and the exuberance of friendship and community.”

Tony Dunbar also participated this past week in “The Katrina Collection: An Afternoon of Authors,” sponsored by the Press Club of New Orleans. Joined by authors including Douglas Brinkley (The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast) and Jed Horne ( Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City), Dunbar signed books and participated in a one-hour discussion, to be broadcast later on C-SPAN 2.

Tubby Meets Katrina is available directly from NewSouth Books, Amazon, or your local or online book retailer.

John Egerton at AJC Decatur Book Festival This Weekend

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 by Brian Seidman

John Egerton, contributor to NewSouth’s Where We Stand and author of the forthcoming Ali Dubyiah and the Forty Thieves, will appear at the Atlanta Journal Constitution Decatur Book Festival this weekend, September 2 and 3. Egerton will speak on the panel “Tricksters of the New South” with Roy Blount, Jr. and George Singleton, as well as “Writing Around the Edges of Southern Foodwaysé─¨ with John T. Edge and Marcie Cohen Ferris.

John Egerton has been a é─˙professional South-watcheré─¨ for half a century. Beginning in high school in the 1950s, through two years in the U. S. Army, five years earning two college degrees, five more as a college news bureau reporter, six as a magazine writer, and for the past thirty-five years as an independent journalist and author, he has seldom strayed far from his lifeé─˘s work: following the social and cultural, political and economic trends that forever have made the American South the unique place that it is, for better and worse. Until the publication of Ali Dubyiah and the Forty Thieves, all his published writing, including more than fifteen books, has been classified as nonfiction. He calls his new book é─˙a fable … a parable … a cautionary taleé─¨ in the genre of é─˙political science-fiction,é─¨ and he claims that he é─˙did not so much author it as synthesize it from hundreds of sources, compile it, and become by default the one to present it to the reading public. Fables doné─˘thave authors. Theyé─˘re found, heard, passed down.é─¨

Ali Dubyiah and the Forty Thieves will be available in mid-September 2006; pre-order now from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online book retailer.

To learn more about the Atlanta Journal Constitution Decatur Book Festival, visit www.decaturbookfestival.com

Coasters Author Gerald Duff Offers New Fiction, Novel

Monday, August 28th, 2006 by Brian Seidman

As Gerald Duff, NewSouth author of Coasters, prepares for the release of his new short story collection, Fire Ants, we’re pleased to note a number of his short stories that have been accepted to leading national literary magazines. Additionally, as Duff reports, his work has recently been discussed in three scholarly studies. Rosemary J. Coombe in The Cultural Life of Intellectual Properties: Authorship, Appropriation, and the Law (Duke University Press) considers Duffé─˘s novel Thaté─˘s All Right, Mama (1995) in her analysis of é─˙authorship and the fictional use of celebrity images.é─¨ Gregory L. Reece discusses the same novel in his Elvis Religion: The Cult of the King (St. Martiné─˘s Press) in a chapter titled “Elvis in Fiction: Memphis Messiah, Jumpsuit Jesus.” Duffé─˘s first novel, Indian Giver (1983), is discussed by Donald L. Deardorff in his Sports: A Reference Guide and Critical Commentary, 1980-1999 (Greenwood Press) as a fictional treatment of Native Americans and the game of basketball.

Gerald Duff’s story “Charm City,” published in Fall 2002 by StorySouth, can be found at their website. Southern Hum magazine offers Duff’s story “Believing in Memphis,” which will appear in Fire Ants. And the Kenyon Review will soon publish “The Way a Blind Man Tracks Light,” which editor David Lynn calls “terrific, haunting, and rare.”

Coasters is available directly from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online book retailer. Fire Ants is forthcoming from NewSouth Books.

Black Belt civil rights pioneer Hulett passes

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006 by Randall Williams

John Hulett, the first black office holder in one of the historic Black Belt counties of Alabama, and the co-founder of the Lowndes County Freedom Organization, died August 21 at his home in Mosses, Alabama. He was 78 and had been in poor health for several years.

Lowndes County was and is one of the poorest counties in the U.S., despite being adjacent to the state capital. The county lies between Dallas and Montgomery counties and in 1965 the famous Selma to Montgomery march passed through Lowndes. Civil rights martyrs Viola Liuzzo and Jonathan Daniels were both murdered in Lowndes, and prior to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, there was not a single registered black voter in the county, though the population was 80 percent African American.

Hulett and his fellow activists in the Lowndes County Freedom Organization took their lives in their hands every day to challenge both state power and the unofficial terror of the Ku Klux Klan. But they prevailed, and the black panther they chose as their ballot symbol in Alabama elections was an inspiration to Stokeley Carmichael and other young activists who poured into the Black Belt to help Hulett and others register voters in the mid-1960s. The symbol was later adopted by the founders of the Black Panther Party.

Visitors to Hulett’s small office in the Lowndes Courthouse after he had become sheriff were startled to see hanging on his wall a vicious-looking wood-handled whip that he had inherited with the office. He kept it there, he said, as reminder that it had been used by his predecessors to beat Lowndes’ blacks for years. As sheriff for two decades, Hulett himself often did not wear a gun, and the county was so small and so poor that he often cooked the jail inmates’ meals himself.

Later he also won election as the first African American probate judge in the county, and he mentored a generation of Alabama black office holders who followed in his footsteps. Today, thanks to the gains of the Voting Rights Act, Alabama has more elected black officials than any state in the union.

He is to be buried Saturday, August 26, 2006.

Paul Gaston's Where We Stand Essay in Archipelago Magazine

Friday, August 18th, 2006 by Brian Seidman

As the November political season gets closer, now’s a perfect time to sample a bit of NewSouth’s renowned book of essays from twelve leading Southern historians, activists, civil rights attorneys, law professors, and theologians, Where We Stand, discussing militarism, religion, the environment, voting rights, the Patriot Act, the economy, prisons and crime, and more. Courtesy of the online journal Archipelago, Paul M. Gaston’s Where We Stand essay is now online. Gaston, a distinguished Southern historian, is also the author of the classic New South Creed: A Study in Southern Mythmaking.

Read Paul Gaston’s essay, “My Yellow Ribbon Town: A Meditation on My Country and My Home,” at the following link.

Where We Stand and New South Creed are both available from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online bookseller.

Koning Cool: Koning Interview on Blogcritics.org

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006 by Brian Seidman

As the newest reprint of Hans Koning’s tale of love in the nuclear age, The Kleber Flight, continues to gain attention, more insight into Koning’s work can be found in the interview he conducted with Blogcritics.org‘s Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti in December, 2004. In this far-reaching interview, Koning talks about his difficulty getting his first novel published (fourteen novels later), his time as Stokley Carmichael’s bodyguard, his world travels, and his run for office. Read the full interview at Blogcritics.org.

The newest book in the Hans Koning reprint series, The Kleber Flight, and all the titles in the series, are available directly from NewSouth Books or by calling toll-free (866) 639-7688. They can also be ordered from Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online book retailer.

Junior Ray Author John Pritchard Opens Amazon Blog

Friday, August 11th, 2006 by Brian Seidman

NewSouth author John Pritchard has launched a blog on Amazon.com in connection with his well-received (and hilarious!) book Junior Ray. On his blog, Pritchard (as he’s affectionately called) has already begun hinting to readers about the return of Junior Ray. For fans of the novel, and for those that have not yet undergone “the Junior Ray experience,” this is a great place to learn more about the author and his work.

Junior Ray is available directly from NewSouth Books, at Amazon.com, or from your local book retailer.

Visit John Pritchard’s Amazon blog at the following link.

Hans Koning Writes on Writing in the New York Times

Thursday, August 10th, 2006 by Brian Seidman

As the newest book in the Hans Koning reprint series, The Kleber Flight, begins to arrive in bookstores, we bring you a link to Koning’s own essay in the New York Times “Writers on Writing” series, where he discusses his desire for a “subterranean” message in each of his books. As Koning writes:

What I believe [a novel] needs is evidence that its writer has gone through an awareness of the human condition, its comedy and melodrama, its mystery and tragedy. Isn’t it that awareness that can give the crucial dimension to the most banal occurrences we may want to describe? … A reader (and a reviewer) should find just as much in it as he or she is prepared to accept. Until one night, perhaps, when such a reader, for instance of my “Kleber Flight,” cannot get to sleep, and then suddenly the snake would raise its head, and he or she would start wondering if there was, after all, sense to what its hero (or antihero) was about on his destructive flight in that little Piper Tomahawk airplane. Or so I hope.

Read the full text of Hans Koning’s essay at the New York Times.

The Kleber Flight, and all the titles in the NewSouth Koning reprint series, are available directly from NewSouth Books online or by calling toll-free (866) 639-7688. They can also be ordered from Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online book retailer.