Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Southern Summer II (copy)

Continuing from last week’s article, here are more southern authors to boost our down-home pride.

Tunica native, Charlaine Harris, has a brand new Sookie Stackhouse on the shelves, From Dead to Worse. According to Library Journal, “Louisiana telepath and cocktail waitress Sookie barely escapes with her life when she becomes enmeshed in a struggle for control of the Louisiana vampires. At the same time, werewolf leaders begin a fight to the death, and Sookie is caught in the middle.” I reported last year that Sookie’s Southern Vampire Series would be appearing on HBO last fall; unfortunately, three full episodes remained in cans due to the writer’s strike. With that over, the series, True Blood, will be released this September.

Memphis is running promotional advertisements this month to encourage tourism. Como residents, Catherine and Douglas Taylor, are part of the push with their book Downtown Ducks. The couple, married at The Peabody, tells of perennial guests Clearwater and Abigail Duck as they make a daily commute from rooftop to fountain then back again. Catherine illustrates in vibrant watercolors as Douglas relates a fun tale through this charming children’s book.

Bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank is in top form with her new book, Bulls Island. This perfect beach book, set in South Carolina’s Low Country, contains scandal, intrigue, and the ominous old boyfriend. Frank’s publicist says, “She and her long-suffering husband, Peter, divide their time between the New York area and Charleston, South Carolina, where their two children are in college and spending every last dime they earn.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning, Alabamian Ricky Bragg is back with another installment of family woes. This time he aims pen at his horrible drunken father and newly acquired step-son in The Prince of Frogtown. We understand Bragg’s violent relationship with his father through All Over but the Shoutin'. Our question to Mr. Bragg, “Will he break the pattern?”

Virginia circuit court judge, Martin Clark, is launching his third novel, The Legal Limit, this July. Said to be the thinking and drinking man’s Grisham, Clark tells of family woe as one brother becomes a lawyer and the other a jailbird. Publishers Weekly said, “Clark…takes his storytelling prowess to the next level in what is his most substantial and thought-provoking work to date.” Note: Amy just reminded me, Clark's wife Deana has a picturesque and fun filed blog. Go say, Howdy!
Saving the best for last, one of my favorite southern authors is Clyde Edgerton. I started reading him after a local playhouse presented his book Walking Across Egypt. I then followed with the laugh-out-loud Raney and ended with his memoir Solo. Coming this August, to a bookstore and library near you, his ninth novel, The Bible Salesman, will witness his remarkable talent.