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"James Kibler understands that traditional stories endure because they are always new; they furnish the joys both of discovery and of rediscovery."
-Fred Chappell, North Carolina poet laureate
By turns humorous, satiric, and poignant, this new novel from one of the South's leading writers is peopled by true individuals who have grown wise from experience.
Chauncey Doolittle has suffered his losses and now lives alone in an old farmhouse on the side of a hill. Far from being lonely, however, he is a keen observer of his community's doings: he is seen frequently at his cousin Kildee's country store, listening to and telling tales that attempt to make sense of the world. Chauncey learns much from his friend Triggerfoot Tinsley, an independent cuss who gets into hilarious scrapes. Then there are Mattie Lou and Goldie, widow cousins who fish the days away while dispensing their storied wisdom on summer afternoons.
Family connections run through the place like a flash of sparkling water, and the distant past is as immediate as the teller of the tale. All of Chauncey's friends in this close community have been knocked low in some inevitable way but continue to press on, to care for the living and mourn the dead.
James Everett Kibler is a professor of English at the University of Georgia in Athens. His interests have led him to write on diverse subjects, from botany and agriculture to architecture and literary figures. Born in Prosperity, South Carolina, Dr. Kibler is a member of the Southern Garden History Society and the South Carolina Poetry Society and serves on the editorial board of Southern Partisan magazine.
Praise for James Everett Kibler's previous works:
Child to the Waters
"Scholar and critic James Everett Kibler has also proved himself to be a poet of the first order. And here he comes now, with the thirty richly various stories of Child to the Waters, clearly one of our finest fiction writers as well."
--George Garrett, poet laureate of Virginia
"In Child to the Waters the teller of tales has poured out a wealth of stories, true ones and legends, memories and folktales, in language charming and musical."
--Fred Chappell, poet laureate of North Carolina
"This little book will join the immortals on bookshelves all over the South."
--Books on the Bluff, Townsend, Georgia
Our Fathers' Fields
"This is a many-faceted read, with research relieved by rich, felicitous writing by an author whose love of his adopted home is evident in every page."
"His willingness to study the landscape and history's marks upon it is fine. The book is good at that, and it's eminently useful."
"Kibler has researched and presented an overall account that resonates for all of us in the very core of our being." --Shelby Foote