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In "Cry Me a River", his sixth novel, Pearson writes of murder and its consequences in a small Southern town. By the book's end we of course know who did it and why, but the greater pleasure lies in Pearson's humorous investigation into carnal relations, sexual jealousy, men and women, the mean, the low-down, and the dead.
Twenty years ago, a first novel appeared and instantly announced the arrival of a master storyteller. T. R. Pearson's A Short History of a Small Place was hailed as "an absolute stunner" (Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post) and its hero, young Louis Benfield, was dubbed "a youth not as wry as Holden Caulfield, but certainly as observant, and with a bigger, even sadder heart" (Fran Schumer, The New York Times). Now, older but not necessarily wiser, Louis Benfield returns in Glad News of the Natural World. In order to get a sense of the larger world, he has moved to New York City from his hometown of Neely, North Carolina. Louis is a modern-day Candide, looking for love and experience in all the wrong places. However, when tragedy strikes, he finds the maturity to be more than man enough for the job. Whether catching up with Louis Benfield and the denizens of Neely or meeting them for the first time, readers will find Glad News of the Natural World hilarious and heartbreaking, warm and wise.
Welcome to the daring, thrilling, and downright strange adventures of William Willis, one of the world's original extreme sportsmen. Driven by an unfettered appetite for personal challenge and a yen for the path of most resistance, Willis mounted a single-handed and wholly unlikely rescue in the jungles of French Guiana and then twice crossed the broad Pacific on rafts of his own design, with only housecats and a parrot for companionship. His first voyage, atop a ten-ton balsa monstrosity, was undertaken in 1954 when Willis was sixty. His second raft, having crossed eleven thousand miles from Peru, found the north shore of Australia shortly after Willis's seventieth birthday. A marvel of vigor and fitness, William Willis was a connoisseur of ordeal, all but orchestrating short rations, ship-wreck conditions, and crushing solitude on his trans-Pacific voyages. He'd been inspired by Kon-Tiki, Thor Heyerdahl's bid to prove that a primitive raft could negotiate the open ocean. Willis's trips confirmed that a primitive man could as well. Willis survived on rye flour and seawater, sang to keep his spirits up, communicated with his wife via telepathy, suffered from bouts of temporary blindness, and eased the intermittent pain of a double hernia by looping a halyard around his ankles and dangling upside-down from his mast. Rich with vivid detail and wry humor, Seaworthy is the story of a sailor you've probably never heard of but need to know. In an age when countless rafts were adrift on the waters of the world, their crews out to shore up one theory of ethno-migration or tear down another, Willis's challenges remained refreshingly personal. His methods were eccentric, his accomplishments little short of remarkable. Don't miss the chance to meet this singular monk of the sea. From the Hardcover edition.
Lucas McCarty lives in the Mississippi Delta. He is the only white congregant in the African-American Trinity House of Prayer Holiness church. Lucas is bereft of the ability to speak due to cerebral palsy, yet he sings there in the church choir. Thus is the subject of Year of Our Lord, a portrait of courage, acceptance and grace, rendered in the lyrical prose of T.R. Pearson and the haunting photographs of Langdon Clay. Year of Our Lord is a visual journey, exploring one of the poorest parts of the American South, a place that economic progress has left behind. And it is a spiritual journey, a revelation of a community that has replaced the hope for earthly prosperity with an abundance of faith in God and the life beyond. The Delta is a culture that can look upon Lucas and say, God don't make mistakes. It is a place that in the face of abject poverty can proclaim, life offers too much joy! Year of Our Lord, then, is an opportunity to see into another's world, and to embrace the best of it.
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