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Accidental Birds of the Carolinas Paperback – May 1, 2011
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More About the Author
Hudson teaches writing workshops through her own Kitchen Table Writers Workshops (see http://www.kitchentablewriters.wordpress.com), and she lectures through NC Humanities Council's Road Scholar Program (http://nchumanities.org).
Top Customer Reviews
Not so with these terrific stories from Marjorie Hudson. Individually, they are gems. Taken as a whole they paint as coherent a picture of life, with all it's hopes, dreams, pain, and tenderness, as I've seen in print. Plus, there is an almost uncanny feel for the magic of nature and why one is drawn to it. You can almost touch it--I mean in a down-on-your knees, smelling the Spring earth sort of way. Ms. Hudson knows how to invest readers in the fate of characters. She winds up her plots like a delicate watch. And she knows when to "turn" a story (and the reader) at just the right time toward the finish line. You sense it coming, but you don't know what it is until the subtle-but-powerful, emotional moment arrives. Beautifully done.
For writers and other connoisseurs of good writing, there are additional rewards. I've been pondering the clarity of the prose in these stories since I read them, why they read so easily, flow so steady and pure. I'm not sure what the answer is, but when I think about the "great" American short story writers--Raymond Carver, say, or Hemingway--I see as I read them a very intense stylist wielding the pen. With Ms. Hudson's stories, I was not conscious of a stylist. They seemed to speak from inside my brain. This is a rare achievement for a writer. The author vanishes. The story is there. And yet there is somewhere, maybe only a whisper behind the curtain, a feeling of companionship, a trusted guide the whole way.
Ms. Hudson is a terrific writer. Do not miss this book!
In the title story, a retired military couple settle in the South after many years of living abroad. Although Rand, the husband, hates his new surroundings, his wife takes up nesting with enthusiasm. In the lovely opening story "The Clearing," a woman from up north settles in a southern town, intending to live a solitary life, but she finds herself becoming increasingly involved with her new neighbors. And in the novella that makes up the second half of the book, a young woman brought up in a Mennonite sect in Nebraska, ventures out of her sheltered life into the outside world, only to retreat into the woods with a Vietnam veteran enamored of Thoreau.
Whether writing in the voice of a sixteen-year-old carnie, an 18th century Native American, or a second wife, Hudson displays her virtuosity. This is a wonderful collection.
The prose unfolds quietly, edging us into their thoughts and lives while, on nearly every page, a phrase or sentence rings in the air like the aftertone of a bell. Crisp with the scent of pine, ripe with birdsong, these stories sound and linger.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The smooth prose of the first story made reading feel like swimming or flying as in a dreamscape. A sharp eye and a gentle heart suffuse all her stories. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Landgirl
Marjorie Hudson's writing is so beautiful and real. She brings her characters to life in a Southern environment that is rich with all the scents, feelings, tastes and personalities... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Janet C. Harvey-Clark
Read this book for our book club. Really enjoyed the style and content. The characters really come to life in this easy to read collection - there is a character that each of us... Read morePublished on April 28, 2013 by KarenMcC
This fine collection of short stories won an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Hemingway Foundation / PEN Awards. Experts agree, this is a fine read! [...]Published on March 13, 2012 by Sam Hudson
Very fine stories of personal discovery. Well-crafted. Fine renderings of place. Sympathetic depictions of appealing & unappealing characters. Read morePublished on December 7, 2011 by Carol Peters
What a terrific collection of stories this is! From the first story ("The Clearing") to the novella that brings the collection to an end ("The Outside World"), these linked... Read morePublished on October 28, 2011 by Clifford Garstang