Archive for the 'Fire Ants' Category

BookPage Calls Duff's Fire Ants a “Stimulating Collection”

Thursday, January 17th, 2008 by Brian Seidman

The book review magazine BookPage has just reviewed Gerald Duff’s new short story collection Fire Ants. Reviewer Harvey Freedenberg calls Fire Ants a “stimulating collection.” From the review:

Calling a short story writer a “Southern writer” inevitably conjures up images of giants like Flannery O’Connor and Eudora Welty. While Gerald Duff hasn’t reached that eminence, his collection Fire Ants is a fine addition to the genre.

Like most Southern storytellers, Duff is noteworthy for his focus on some of the more distinctive personalities who inhabit the territory below the Mason-Dixon Line. In “The Angler’s Paradise Fish-Cabin Dance of Love,” for example, a middle-aged oil worker kidnaps a teenager and transports her to a fishing cabin on the Texas Gulf Coast merely to watch her perform her cheerleading routine. “A Perfect Man” shifts the scene to Tennessee, where a mother desperate to free her son from jail after he’s been wrongly arrested for robbing a convenience store turns to the only source she can think of to help her make bail—her old lover. And in the collection’s title story Duff offers the eerie tale of an aging woman who re-enacts the end of a failed love affair in grisly fashion.

Read more BookPage reviews at their website.

Fire Ants is available directly 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.