Monday, October 6th, 2008 by

Max Arbus of Atlanta’s Voice of the Arts radio station 1690 AM recently interviewed author Gerald Duff (Fire Ants, Coasters) on the program Conversations. The topics they discussed included Southern literature as a distinct genre, racial stereotypes in fiction, and depictions of sexuality.

In the interview, Gerald discussed the special suitability of the short story genre to Southern fiction. He described the short story as “well-suited” for the presentation of the eccentric, off-beat characters typically employed by Southern authors. In addition, the short story allows the author to present a situation that may not be resolved. Gerald noted, “I often find myself having characters that are talking to each other from different perspectives, and they are never going to finally agree.”

Gerald also talked about the depiction of race in Southern fiction, saying, “You shouldn’t depend upon simplistic kinds of ways of presenting whites and blacks in the South interacting.” Rather, the portrayal in current fiction has become one of complex human interchange with less stereotying, a postive development, according to the author.

Listen to the full interview at the Voice of the Arts website.

Gerald’s book Fire Ants recently received a very positive review from Ploughshares magazine, which praised the collection for its diversity and the strength of the characterizations.  “What’s particularly impressive about the collection is its wide range of voices and settings,” reads the review, “and Duff’s ability to infuse wry humor into awkward moments, or into entire stories. … Fire Ants is a good addition to the Southern cannon, and will be enjoyed by anyone looking for an unexpected and satisfying read.”

Read the entire review at Ploughshares website.

Gerald Duff will be participating in the Kenyon Review Literary Festival in Gambier, Ohio, November 7-8, 2008.

Fire Ants is available from NewSouth Books, or your favorite local or online book retailer.