It's also writing that lays bare the agony of adolescence and plows, as the Cleveland Plain Dealer once put it, "the fields of puzzling wonder that precede the responsibilities and disappointments of adulthood."
What bred and fed Nordan's imagination, his originality, his indefatigable sense of humor? The answers aren't obvious. But now that Lewis Nordan produces, directs, and stars in his own story, we just might find out.
Nordan's mother was widowed when he was a baby, and she went back to her home town to remarry and raise her only son "Buddy." Itta Bena, Mississippi, was a prototypical fifties Delta town, so drowsy that even before puberty, Nordan had made his escape plans. What happened next was pretty typical-a stint in the Navy, college in Mississippi, very early marriage, young fatherhood, alcoholism, infidelities, broken hearts. But in Nordan's hands, the typical turns into the transcendent and, at the heart of things, there is always the irrepressible laughter.
Horrible things and horribly funny things happen in Boy with Loaded Gun, but it's that heart that leads us through Lewis Nordan's dark tunnel and back into the light.
About Lewis NordanSee more books from this Author
A bittersweet memoir of growing up absurd in rural Mississippi, then suffering the slings and arrows of marriage and fatherhood, from the popular author of such vivid fiction as Music of the Swamp (1991) and Lightning Song (1997).May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Boy with Loaded Gun: A Memoir
Nordan, a novelist (Wolf Whistle; Lightning Song) who savors the darkly comic possibilities of human folly, chronicles his own bad behavior in this rueful, notably candid memoir of an odd child whJan 03 2000 | Read Full Review of Boy with Loaded Gun: A Memoir
Not to worry: Nordan avoids self-flagellation and solipsism, fashioning instead a memoir that achieves hard-won introspection and strikes a tone of weary sadness and wonderment that Buddy turned out okay after all.| Read Full Review of Boy with Loaded Gun: A Memoir
B Originally posted Mar 10, 2000 Published in issue #530 Mar 10, 2000 Order article reprintsMar 10 2000 | Read Full Review of Boy with Loaded Gun: A Memoir
Wet they were not so good a cover as the roll kind would have been, but with enough of them plastered around me, I began to develop a sort of skirt that was more or less opaque. Tragedy meets the comedy in the unexpected form of the elevator operator whom Nordan summons for help: He was tiny,...Feb 20 2000 | Read Full Review of Boy with Loaded Gun: A Memoir
One of the most basic reasons to read a memoir is to draw strength from the story of another person's life -- how the writer has gotten through his trials, borne his woes, made use of his gifts (or borne his gifts and made use of his woes, perhaps).Mar 03 2000 | Read Full Review of Boy with Loaded Gun: A Memoir
He takes full responsibility for the lack of control and misdirected anger that characterize his choices in life.Dec 16 1999 | Read Full Review of Boy with Loaded Gun: A Memoir
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