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"[The] unchallenged king of the comic Southern short story. " #151;The Atlanta Journal-Constitution "George Singleton writes about the rural South without sentimentality or stereotype but with plenty of sharp-witted humor. . . . A raconteur of trends, counter-trends, obsessions and odd characters. "#151;NPR Morning Edition "Thank God for George Singleton, who makes us laugh and makes us think. "#151;The Times-Picayune There's a place just down the way where a trip to the salvage yard reveals infidelity and theft. There's another where an unlicensed entomologist celebrates his freedom with a compulsive liar while a manhunt ensues on the streets outside. Places where a con man and his nephew sell stolen parachutes to veterans in case the ground beneath them should suddenly give way and where Chuck Norris's face graces only the walls of the finest trailers. A place where tongues get left in rental cars and a place where everyone insists an absolute stranger is your boyhood friend. Between Wrecks takes readers on a raucous bar crawl through an America both startlingly familiar and hilariously absurd, examining paranoia, fear, relentless #147;truths," longstanding personal habits gone awry, and what it means to look toward a horizon that may or may not be a mirage. George Singleton is the author of two novels and five short story collections, including Stray Decorum. A 2013 SIBA Book Award finalist, his work has appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Harper's Magazine, and Playboy. A former Guggenheim Fellow, he was awarded the Hillsdale Award for Fiction by the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 2011. He holds an MFA degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and currently teaches writing at South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities. He lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Calloustown, the seventh collection from master raconteur George Singleton, who's been praised by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as the "unchallenged king of the comic Southern short story," finds the author at the absolute top of his game as he traces the unlikely inhabitants of the titular Calloustown in all their humanity. Whether exploring family, religion, politics or the true meaning of home, these stories range from deeply affecting to wildly absurd and back again, all in the blink of an eye.
Acclaimed short-story master George Singleton follows the lives and schemes of the citizens of fictitious Gruel, South Carolina, in search of glory, seclusion, money, revenge, and a meaningful existence. In these nineteen tales, young Gruelites learn lessons when confronted with neighbors who might not be as blind as they appear, dermatologists intent on eradicating birthmarks, and fathers prone to driving on half-inflated tires in order to flirt with cashiers. Meanwhile, the town's older citizens try to make sense out of dogs that heal wounds, lawn-mowing dead men, wives who don't appreciate gas masks for Valentine's Day, and children who mix their mother's ashes with housepaint. Hilarious and tragic, George Singleton's unforgettable characters try to overcome their limitations as best they can.
Set in the town of Gruel, South Carolina, this first novel by George Singleton, master of the comic short story, is the tale of a young man named Novel (his brother's name is James; his sister's is Joyce), a professional snake handler who stumbles across strange doings while he sits in a motel room writing his autobiography. As he struggles to recount his life story, he uncovers-and finds himself starring in-a decades-old town secret, one that can blow him and his fellow citizens sky-high. Funny as only George Singleton can be, full of Southern mischief and wit, Novel is a crazed and crazy fictional whirlwind of drinking, motel-living, art-forgery-committing, pool-playing redneck charm.
My dog Tapeworm Johnson needed legitimate veterinary attention. It had been two years since she received annual shots. I read somewhere that an older dog can overdose on all these vaccinations, and I have found--I share this information with every dog owner I meet--that if you keep your pet away from rabid foxes, raccoons, skunks, bats, and people whose eyes rotate crazy in their sockets, then the chances of your own dog foaming at the mouth diminishes drastically. I also believe that dogs don't need microchips imbedded beneath their shoulder blades if you keep the dog leashed or in the house, or with the truck windows rolled up when you drive around showing the dog farm animals living in pastures. I brought this up to Dr. Page one time, back four years earlier when Tapeworm Johnson was somewhere between eight and nine. Tapeworm showed up at my door one morning, her ribs as visible as anything you'd order down at Clem and Lyda's Barbecue Shack off Scenic Highway 11, her paw pads split open from, I assumed, days traveling from wherever her conscienceless owner dropped her off. Eleven stories, all previously published in journals like The Atlantic, The Oxford American, and The Georgia Review, in which George Singleton brings small-town South Carolina alive. Using everyday situations like a dog needing its annual vaccination and buckets of humorous observations, Singleton pokes and prods his readers into realizing we're all simply restless for a pat on the head.
"A bouncer videotapes an episode of Bonanza over his wife's sonogram and scrambles to find a replacement, an ex-poet takes a job driving a van that provides mammograms, and an office-supply salesman falls for a woman from an all-girl wrestling revue in a town called Kingdom Come in George Singleton's These People Are Us."--Publishers Weekly
Renegade artist Harp Spillman is lower than a bow-legged fire ant. Because of an unhealthy relationship with the bottle, he's ruined his reputation as one of the South's preeminent commissioned metal sculptors. And his desperate turn to ice sculpting might've led to a posse of angry politicians on his trail. With the help of his sane and practical potter wife, Raylou, Harp understands that it's time to return to the mig welder. Yes, it's time to prove that he can complete a series of twelve-foot-high metal angels-welded completely out of hex nuts-for the city of Birmingham. Is it pure chance that the Elbow Boys, their arms voluntarily fused so they can't drink, show up in order to help Harp out in a variety of ways? And why did his neighbor smuggle anteaters into desolate Ember Glow? Is it true that there's no free will?
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