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Delta Flats: Stories In The Key Of Blues And Hope Paperback – March 15, 2016
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"The wonderfully charming stories in Dixon Hearne's Delta Flats: Stories in the Key of Blues and HopeÂ are as variegated and as beautiful in both theme and tone as a Southern flower garden. Hearne is able to hit notes that range from tragic to comic to utterly hopeful, like an expertly hammered-out riff on the worn ivories of a well-tuned piano. So get ready to sit back and let Dixon Hearne take you on a journey that, once it's over, you'll never be the same again. And, trust me, you'll be glad for the ride."(David Armand, author of HARLOW and THE GORGE)
“These moral stories resonate with the last vestiges of the Old South, making way for the new, including even the devastating challenges of Hurricane Katrina. His people may be poor and face dire odds, yet they seem to triumph with determination and an undeniable moral force from parishes around the state from Red Stick to Jackson to the Crescent City. You can almost hear the impromptu second line drums and brass in the New Orleans French Quarter and feel the spirit of the city’s festivals. In Dixon Hearne’s work, Louisiana is yet another gritty, beguiling character that Hearne sings to us with the resplendent force of a born balladeer.”(Daren Dean, author of Far Beyond the Pale)
Dixon Hearne’s Delta Flats: Stories in the Key of Blue and Hope fearlessly tells the stories of Louisiana folks from the Depression-era to Katrina.
These are old South stories in the best sense in that they take hard looks at the time-worn relentless issues of delta people and show transcendence in the midst of tragedy and prejudice. They are stories that showcase a writer with impressive range and register, a writer who also lets us hear the humor in his characters’ songs, no matter how dire their situations.
Read this book, and you’ll want to sing along.(Tim Parrish, author of Fear and What Follows, The Jumper, Red Stick Men)
Fiction writers don’t earn too many comparisons to choir directors, but in the case of Dixon Hearne, the analogy is more than apt. For in Delta Flats, his story collection, he has corralled a host of voices―some heavenly, others earthly―and arranged his characters in a way where a wonderful harmony results. Black, white, sinner, saint, male or female, all these complex creations of Hearne’s have something urgent to share. Equal parts blues and gospel, with a little raucous Louisiana sound all its own, these stories will get you up off your feet and filled with the spirit. Listen!(Tom Williams, author of The Mimic’s Own Voice, Don’t Start Me Talkin’, and Among the Wild Mulattos and Other Tales)
Dixon Hearne has scored big with stories of Louisiana that focus on the common folks; they're black, white, rich, poor, good, bad, and everyone in between. By and large, all the stories are humorous, even the tragic ones. And the humor is subtle. Read these stories closely so you can taste the flavor. Sometimes the stories stop right before a revelation. You must either make your own ending or accept the next scene may be one of a hundred different endings. I love these kinds of stories. They are basically folklore recast. My favorite one (without a spoiler) is 'Terms of Inducement'.
DELTA FLATS by Dixon Hearne: Buy, read, review.(Bill Hopkins, The Deadly Duo)
“In Delta Flats: Stories in the Key of Blue and Hope, Dixon Hearne weaves mesmerizing, languorous sentences into hair raising stories of larceny and adultery, of arson and death. It’s a southern locale, part-Faulkner, part-Flannery O’Connor, part-ZZ Packer, and while the stories shift in time (from pre-Civil Rights days through Katrina), continuity flows from the sustained sense of place―the delta, New Orleans and its jewel, the Vieux Carré. Not just Pentecostal gospel and jelly-filled donuts, but a landscape haunted by a dishonored caste system, Hearne exhibits an eye for the telling detail as well as a fine ear for dialogue with characters and cadences that sweep the reader along. His sense of a story’s progression is spot-on, his pacing, masterful. What a rich mosaic! In these stories the harsh and the sublime are equally stirred like the water snakes that swim through the bayous of the sportsmen’s paradise. Delta Flats is spellbinding. Read these exquisite stories. Judge for yourself.”(Stephanie Dickinson, author of Love Highway Stephanie Dickinson, author of Love Highway)
About the Author
Dixon Hearne teaches and writes in the American South. Much of his work draws on his memories of growing up along the graceful river traces and bayous in West Monroe, Louisiana. After years of university teaching and writing for research journals, his interests turned to fiction and poetry—and the challenge of writing in a different voice.
He is the author of several recent books, including Native Voices, Native Lands and Plantatia: High-toned and Lowdown Stories of the South, which was nominated for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN award and won the Creative Spirit Award-Platinum for best general fiction book. His work has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has received numerous other honors. He is editor of several recent anthologies, including A Quilt of Holidays. His has been published widely in magazines, journals, and anthologies, including Oxford American, New Orleans Review, Louisiana Literature, Big Muddy, Cream City Review, Wisconsin Review, Post Road, New Plains Review, Weber-Contemporary West, Mature Living, Woodstock Revisited, The Southern Poetry Anthology: Louisiana, and others.He is a frequent presenter and an invited speaker at the Louisiana Book Festival and other literary events.
Top customer reviews
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The book was broken down into four Parts.
Coming of Age
Which I found several of them to be quite good and way too short. I particularly enjoyed "Somewhere deep inside" and found myself laughing out loud to "Raptured". I have to admit I did find them all very entertaining.
These were all great stories that I thoroughly enjoyed. Mr. Hearne really knows how to write some great tales, I guess one of my favorite stories in the whole book was "Cheap Relations", it was a hoot. The witty dialogue was hilarious. "Our Christmas Visitor" was another story about relatives coming together and not getting along too well. I guess we can all relate to some of these stories.
Some of these pulled on the heart strings a little hard. "Mercy Rare" was one that got to me. Then there was "Redemption" which was another good one.
These too were all very good, my favorite was "Crescent City Blues" it was a story written about the infamous NOPD. I found it very entertaining.
"Don't Try Me" was another one that was too short. I wish some of these were novels.
"Hope of Flight" was another one that I wish could have gone on longer.
I was never really a big fan of short stories, but books like "Delta Flats" and a few other good ones I've read lately have made me change my opinion regarding them. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I think other readers who love the South as I do, will find this a very engaging read.
I would like to thank Amphorae Publishing Group and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this e-galley.
COURTING MURDER by Bill Hopkins
Dixon Hearne has scored big with stories of Louisiana that focus on the common folks; they're black, white, rich, poor, good, bad, and everyone in between. By and large, all the stories are humorous, even the tragic ones. And the humor is subtle. Read these stories closely so you can taste the flavor. Sometimes the stories stop right before a revelation. You must either make your own ending or accept the next scene may be one of a hundred different endings. I love these kinds of stories. They are basically folklore recast. My favorite one (without a spoiler) is Terms of Inducement.
DELTA FLATS by Dixon Hearne : Buy, read, review
The stories inside of this too-short book are a tableau of day to day drama, tribulation, rectifying, and just getting by in the American South. Reading each of them was a lot like viewing an episode from the first season of True Detective, turning down the volume of the main dialogue, then metaphorically tuning into the atmospheric dialogue going on around the featured characters that we as viewers wouldn't normally hear or experience.