Archive for the 'Coasters' Category

Gerald Duff Interviewed; Fire Ants Reviewed by Ploughshares

Monday, October 6th, 2008 by Lisa Harrison

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.

Gerald Duff Shares Responses to His Upcoming Book of Short Stories

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007 by Lyndsey

Gerald Duff, author of the well-received novel Coasters (NewSouth Books, 2001) and Fire Ants, a new collection of short stories from NewSouth, shares these responses to “The Way a Blind Man Tracks Light,” a short story from Fire Ants which appeared in the most recent issue of The Kenyon Review:

I love the way publication of a work brings your readers closer. In just a couple of weeks since the new issue of The Kenyon Review came out, I’ve had numerous emails from friends and strangers alike.

Among those: Steve Stern, author of the novel The Angel of Forgetfulness and several collections of short stories, wrote to say that he loved my story — he called it “haunting and colossal” — and commented that it was the title which drew him in.

A reader from Towson, MD, said the story, though “dark and scary,” was also especially riveting. “Thanks, particularly,” she wrote, “for the section in which the narrator says ‘time is a snarl of string. Pull on that string and there’s no telling what will rise up coming toward you.'” Lauren Small, a short story writer from Baltimore, shares that the title likewise seized her imagination and the “power of the writing itself” struck her forcefully.

Thanks to all of these people for their generous comments and for taking the time to write.

Fire Ants is forthcoming from NewSouth Books in November 2007. Read the full text of “The Way a Blind Man Tracks Light” at the Access My Library website.

Coasters is avaliable from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite online and retail booksellers.

Gerald Duff Story Now Available from Kenyon Review

Monday, June 11th, 2007 by Brian Seidman

The Kenyon Review literary magazine has just released their Summer 2007 issue, including the story “The Way a Blind Man Tracks Light” by Gerald Duff. Kenyon Review editor David Lynn calls the story “terrific, haunting, and rare.”

Gerald Duff’s new short story collection Fire Ants, will be published in the fall by NewSouth Books. Duff, the academic dean at McKendree College, is also the author of Coasters from NewSouth, which Publisher’s Weekly said was full of “wit and subtlety as simply satisfying as a tall cold one on a hot Gulf Coast afternoon.”

Read more about the summer issue of the Kenyon Review, or click here to purchase the issue.

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

NewSouth Books Announces Spring 2007 Book Line

Friday, September 15th, 2006 by Brian Seidman

NewSouth announces three intriguing new titles for the Spring 2007 season:

Fire Ants is the hilarious new short story collection from award-winning Coasters author Gerald Duff. Publishers Weekly has hailed the wit and subtlety in Gerald Duffs fiction as simply satisfying as a tall cold one on a hot Gulf Coast afternoon, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazetter said Gerald Duffs dialogue is among the best being written, and his sense of the absurd is Portis-like. This new collection of short stories features the Ploughshares Cohen Prize-winning story Fire Ants.

All Guts, No Glory by NAIA Basketball Coaches’ Hall of Fame inductee Bill Elder tells how Elder and a courageous group of white and black student athletes broke racial barriers at a small college in northeast Alabama in the early 1970s. He shows vividly why he sometimes wondered whether he and his players would live through their experience. Abandoned by their school officials, the players faced constant threats and harassment and occasional violence, but they kept playing and winning games and forging bonds between themselves that lasted long after that first season was over.

The Judge : The Life and Opinions of Alabamas Frank M. Johnson, Jr., by veteran journalist Frank Sikora (Hear the Bugles Calling [2001]), remembers Judge Frank Johnson of Mongomery, Alabama, who presided over some of the most emotional hearings and trials of the civil rights movement. The black petition for full freedom began in Montgomery in Johnsons courtroom, and it would end in this city, also before Judge Johnson. This book covers many of the notable cases: the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Freedom Rides, school desegregation, the Selma-to-Montgomery march, and the Ku Klux Klan conspiracy case in the night-rider slaying of Viola Liuzzo.

For more information on any of these titles, please email or call NewSouth toll-free at (866) 639-7688.

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 Duffs novel Thats All Right, Mama (1995) in her analysis of authorship and the fictional use of celebrity images. Gregory L. Reece discusses the same novel in his Elvis Religion: The Cult of the King (St. Martins Press) in a chapter titled “Elvis in Fiction: Memphis Messiah, Jumpsuit Jesus.” Duffs 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,, or your favorite local or online book retailer. Fire Ants is forthcoming from NewSouth Books.