Visible Spirits by Steve Yarbrough

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In 1902, in a small community deep in the Mississippi Delta, nearly a generation after the end of slavery, events obscured by time but impossible to forgive or forget echo in the lives of blacks and whites alike. As bound together by history as they are separated by mutual distrust, the citizens of Loring face present tensions as they look toward an uncertain future.

Into this charged atmosphere rides Tandy Payne–prodigal son of a prominent planter and brother of the current mayor, and a dissolute gambler looking to reclaim the family estate. When he takes advantage of a perceived slight from the town’s black postmistress, the ensuing clash with his principled brother results in a harrowing confrontation. Fueled by dark and brutal memories, their familial dispute quickly spreads through the countryside. Steve Yarbrough confronts character with morality, reason with blood, in this moving novel that explores the farthest boundaries of human nature.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Steve Yarbrough

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Steve Yarbrough’s honors include the Mississippi Authors Award, the California Book Award, and a third from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. The author of two previous novels and three collections of stories, he is a native of the Delta town of Indianola and now lives in Fresno, California.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 288 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Tandy, Leighton, and Loda are linked in a past dominated by Sam Payne, father to the brothers and vicious slave owner whose possessions once included Loda’s mother.

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Publishers Weekly

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Connecting Loda, Tandy and Leighton is their common father, Sam, a plantation owner who massacred a group of black men and women who tried to escape the Delta in the 1880s.

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Austin Chronicle

If you read one good novel set in Mississippi this summer, read the posthumously published Taps by Willie Morris.

Jun 22 2001 | Read Full Review of Visible Spirits

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