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By Mary Ward Brown

Those superbly crafted tales depict the altering relationships among black and white southerners, the influence of the civil rights circulate, and the emergence of the hot South. Mary Ward Brown is a storyteller within the culture of such robust 20th-century writers as William Faulkner, Harper Lee, Flannery O'Connor, and Eudora Welty-writers who've explored and dramatized the strain among the inherited social constitution of the South and its modern dissolution. With Tongues of Flame, her first number of brief tales, Brown bares the awkward, occasionally hopeful, and sometimes tragic anguish of individuals stuck in altering instances inside a undying environment. right here we meet such memorable characters as a death black lady who seeks the recommendation of a now-alcoholic white health care professional whom she knew in larger years; a tender girl, jilted on the altar, pushed loopy by way of an illuminated move erected by means of the church contrary her residence; and a 95-year-old lady procuring a tombstone for her long-deceased husband in simple terms to find that he have been adulterous all through their marriage. Brown constructs her characters in a disarmingly undeniable kind whereas respiring lifestyles into them with compassion and honesty as they confront the big moments in their lives. First released through E. P. Dutton in 1986 to quick serious acclaim, Tongues of Flame received the 1987 PEN/Ernest Hemingway starting place Award. The judges recommended Brown for "seeing existence entire, with no prejudice, with no sentimentality, with out histrionics. Her voice might be quiet-sometimes she speaks in a whisper-but her phrases are, however, continually forceful, transparent, and finally lasting." With this new ebook of Tongues of Flame and its inclusion within the collage of Alabama Press's Deep South Books sequence, an entire new iteration of readers may possibly once again observe Mary Ward Brown's profound tales of ache, loss, and desire.

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Why, there's Grandpa Robbins, out raking leaves," Mrs. Worthy said, with surprise. In front of a small neat Page 3 house, an old man was at work in his yard. " Lisa laughed. " At mention of anyone's grandchild, Mrs. Worthy always fell silent. For weeks Lisa had neglected, to the point of ignoring, her sick mother-in-law, but with an excuse that could pass for a reason. Lisa was the bookkeeper at Worthy's, the jewelry store Mrs. Worthy's son, David, had inherited from his father, to whom it had been left by his father, the first D.

She was so thin it fell from her shoulders as from a hanger. On her head was a plain dark hat, to hide the loss of hair, Lisa supposed. She wore none of her rings. Only the yellow-gold wedding band she never took off. Mrs. Lovelady handed in a cane with a wide silver band. " she asked. Mrs. Worthy patted her purse and smiled. Her smile was too bright, like the wrong shade of lipstick. Off at last, she didn't look back, though Mrs. Lovelady watched and waved from the walk. Behind Mrs. Lovelady was the portico of Mrs.

The courthouse town of Marion, six miles north of the author's home, is crowded with cars on the day welfare checks arrive. Young people, black and white, who can make a better living elsewhere, do not stay in Perry County. And yet, however blighted the county may seem from these statistics and superficial observations, they do not tell the whole story. Like most of the characters in her stories, Mary Ward Page xii Brown started life in a stable world, and then saw it become a social, economic, and political roller coaster.

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