The Half-Mammals of Dixie by George Singleton

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Synopsis

George Singleton, who's had many stories published in the best literary journals, has recently burst into the big time with appearances in Playboy, Zoetrope, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's Magazine and Book. The stories in his new collection are wild and wooly - or maybe we should say wild and half-wooly. In any case, they're definitely not for the creationist crowd or for the laughter impaired. For example:

- A self-described "primitive artist," getting rich off religious canvases, is mistaken for a faith healer.

- A lovelorn dad woos his third grader's teacher with very special show-and-tells, including long lost love letters to Shakespeare from Anne Hathaway, to Fred Astaire from Ginger Rogers, and to Henry VIII from all of his wives.

- A boy's reputation is ruined forever when he accepts the starring role in a documentary on diagnosing head lice.

Off-the-wall. But also utterly believable and written with tremendous affection for the people and their place-a place called Forty-Five, part of the contemporary South that's far removed from big city Atlanta or proper Charleston and, in fact, much like Singleton's own hometown of Dacusville, South Carolina. As he says of his characters, "They're regular people just trying to get by. Most of them aren't jaded by everyday life, though perhaps they should have been long ago. There are some with physical and mental limitations, but I hope all of them have heart."

They do indeed, just like their stories.

 

About George Singleton

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GEORGE SINGLETON lives in Pickens County, South Carolina, with ceramicist Glenda Guion and their mixture of strays. More than a hundred of his stories have been published nationally in magazines and anthologies. He teaches writing at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities.
 
Published August 12, 2002 by A Shannon Ravenel Book. 304 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Half-Mammals of Dixie

Kirkus Reviews

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the girl, though, remains intent, along with her brother, on a search for their absent father, whom they are convinced they’ll find one day at the flea market selling lost golf balls.

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Publishers Weekly

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"This Itches, Y'all" features a boy who fled youthful ignominy as the star of an educational film on head lice, then returns to his 25th class reunion to find unexpected celebrity.

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BC Books

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Amid the chaos and myriad cast and the heretofore inconceivable 101st use for a dead deer, however, is a story intimated to involve "mysterious ways, and sin, and redemption - about signs, betrayal, and resistance," not that Singleton is drawing diagrams or pointing the way.

Dec 14 2005 | Read Full Review of The Half-Mammals of Dixie

Entertainment Weekly

The oddball characters in Singleton's second short-story collection share a distinctive thread: They all seem to have loser written across their foreheads.

Oct 11 2002 | Read Full Review of The Half-Mammals of Dixie

Reader Rating for The Half-Mammals of Dixie
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