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The Dixie Association: A Novel (Voices of the South) Paperback – November 1, 1997

4.8 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Meet the Arkansas Reds, the oddest, craziest, rowdiest bunch of sluggers ever to step out of a dugout. The lineup consists of an ex-con first baseman named Hog, a couple of real Reds on loan from Castro, some young bucks on their way up and worn-out old-timers on their way down, a few wild Indians, a woman, a pitcher named Genghis Mohammad, Jr., and a lecherous knuckle-baller - all led by a one-armed Marxist and former major-leaguer named Lefty. Hog chronicles a season with the Reds as they travel from one seedy southern ballpark to another, always barely a step ahead of the small-town sheriffs and right-wing evangelists who think these motley minor-leaguers are an insult to "America's game".

About the Author

Donald Hays, associate professor of English at the University of Arkansas, is the author of The Hangman's Children, a novel, and the editor of Stories: Contemporary Southern Short Fiction.

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Product Details

  • Series: Voices of the South
  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807122262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807122266
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,698,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Kurtz on November 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Dixie Association is a perfect book. It is hilarious, wise, profound, and unbelievably beautifully written. It should not be subtitled "Voices of the South". It is THE voice of the South, perfectly captured on paper. Donald Hays has perfect pitch for Southern language, on the street and in the locker room. The basdeball portions are true, interesting and exciting. The picture of the last game remains one of the great descriptions of an epic encounter in sports. There are more great characters than you can count. I read it in the 80s when it was published and probably bought a dozen copies before I was through giving it to people who I thought needed it. And finally, I simply loved the book so much that I tracked down the author and called him to tell him directly how much I was moved, and touched, and thrilled by it. I am about to launch into another buying and giving spree with this new edition.
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I like the author's ambition and the writing continues to rattle around in my head days later, which is usually a sign of strong writing, but I'm really not sure what to think about his book. Some of the passages are so charmingly, insightfully written--about southern American culture, baseball, love, prison, aging. Too many passages, however, go on too long or dig too deep or are too plain indulgent. The amount characters, subplots, and detours overload the work.

Don't read this book if you don't love or like baseball. Even in it's best literary moments, it doesn't transcend the sport.
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Well, it seems that everyone that has reviewed this book has given it really high marks and it is no wonder. The characterization is profound and at a very high level. It's less like it was written than it was seen and transcribed. Skip Hays uses baseball as a forum, as a war, to talk about rascism, classism, and redemption. It's not preachy though, and one of my favorite characters was the rascist knuckleball pitcher, Bullet Bob.
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The Dixie Association was a well written and thought out novel, written by an author who knew how to grab his audiences attention. A baseball team full of rejects that noone wanted around and did not have any respect for, but they knew the game of baseball and that is what they all loved and it is all that mattered to them. Donald Hays writes the book through an ex-convicts eyes. With the rudeness, foul language, and racists remarks the author offends everyone. In all I really liked the novel and give it a thumbs up, cause I could actually read the book without dreaading it.
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I thought the book was very well written. The author showed a great deal of knowledge in the sport of baseball. The characters were interesting and fun to read about. I enjoyed reading about the games and the way it was portrayed through the eyes of an actual ballplayer.This book is defenitly one of the best baseball books ever written, not only because of its portral of the game, but because of the conflicts its characters deal with off the field as well.
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As the others have said, I think this is just about the best fictional baseball ever written. The characters are brought to life by Mr Hays. These are some of the most memorable characters I have ever come to love in fiction. I do not agree in the slightest with the politics and world-view of Mr. Hays; however I must say that he presents his view of the world in such an engaging and humanistic way, that I find myself totally enthralled by these characters and thier trials and tribulations.
The main character "Hog Durham" is an ex-con who is given one last chance by society. After having spent the last few years in the Oklahoma State Prison (I can't spell penitentiary) he is released to the care of the the Arkansas Reds. A minor league team mangaged by the oh so subltly named "Lefty" Marks.
Lefty has assembled a team of has beens and wanna be's that by thier sheer oddness you just know that they will set the league on it's ear. The plot is predictable but the characterzations and humanizing of the players is incredible.
The team consists of the ex-con Durham, along with Jeremiah Eversole (a Panamanian Native American, that psyches himself up by reading a history of how the Whites' raped Central America.) Bullet Bob Turner (A biggoted redneck has been major league relief pitcher) and the most important other character Lefty Marks himself.
These charaters and many others bring this story alive. They are alive, aware, human and earthy.
The language will offend some, but it is the language of ex-cons, and the down-trodden. A language that is rich in description and explitives.
Do yourself a favor, read this book. If you are a fan of baseball, or a fan of the down-trodden masses, this will reach your heart and make you laugh and cry.
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Format: Paperback
Hays' _The Dixie Association_ is by far my favorite baseball novel. The Reds (pun intended) are an Arkansas farm league team owned by a one-armed socialist and populated by ex-cons, American Indians, rednecks, Cubans, and fallen cheerleaders. Their battles are played out both on the field and in the streets, as the Religious Right tries repeatedly to run them out of town.

While many baseball books are concerned with the glory of America and the game that has come to be held as its symbol, _The Dixie Association_ shows us the underbelly of that image. The members of the Reds, despite their fistfights, yelling matches, and general cranky demeanor, have one thing in common: each has been kicked around by America and left for defeated. Hays will have us know that baseball is for all Americans, as the Reds find salvation and self respect through the great game.

_The Dixie Association_ is one heck of a book, about baseball, yes, but mostly about the subversive spirit of any country's people and the doors that a sliding fastball can open. Kinsella's _Shoeless Joe_ could be considered the National Anthem of baseball novels. Fine. _The Dixie Association_ is the taunts and jeers from the drunks behind the left field foul line. Much praise to LSU press for re-issuing this fine novel.
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