The Half-Mammals of Dixie
George SingletonISBN: 0156028581;
Amazon.comWhile it often seems true that every town in America has become depressingly alike, fully franchised and chain-stored to death, short story writer George Singleton offers a compelling rebuttal in his second collection, The Half-Mammals of Dixie . Almost all 15 of its stories are set in or around a fictional South Carolina town called Forty Five, and Singleton's eccentric characters--flea-market hustlers, a fish aquarium salesman, a bogus "primitive" artist--are hard to imagine outside thenarrow civic boundaries of his singular imagination. A writing teacher and ashtray-collecting, flea-market hound himself, Singleton builds most of his stories around first-person narrators, evoking such writers as Flannery O'Connor, Barry Hannah, andRaymond Carver, but infusing each tale with his own brand of sly humor and outsider skepticism. Singleton is particularly good at capturing the rhythms and peculiarities of southern speech, as in this passage from "When Children Count":...
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