- File Size: 13651 KB
- Print Length: 140 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: New Lit Salon Press (October 12, 2013)
- Publication Date: October 12, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00FVYE5QK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,017,722 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$5.99|
|Print List Price:||$12.00|
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Southern Gothic: New Tales of the South Kindle Edition
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|Length: 140 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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and style to their writing.
In the opening we see Turgrow chastise Rhonda for letting the weeds in her yard overgrow, but author Eryk Pruitt deftly and subtly flips this to transfer the impression that to Turgrow, Rhonda and her husband are the real weeds here. Turgrow insinuates the mysterious 'Riders' will soon pluck them out of the clean, white yard that is this neighbourhood... "They watch this town and they make sure don't nothing improper set foot in here. And if it do, they weed it out."
These 'Riders' are ghostly legends, whispers in the dark of a group furtively ensuring folks are kept in line. Turgrow's threat that the Riders will come for her and her husband too, simply for being a different colour, plays upon her mind throughout and forms the crux of this story.
Rhonda constantly mulls over her identity, and of feeling out of place. "You must be from another planet" remarks her friend Suzanna at the grocery store, a casual reference to Rhonda's detachment. But internally Rhonda echoes it as an implication of her being an alien in this new borough.
Pruitt's penmanship is great, the prose tinged with Southern Gothic touches that create a vintage eerie ambience... "bronzed beech leaves rattled like bones" ... "screams as long as the night ran in and out of every window''. But perhaps more admirable is the way in which in less than 3000 words Pruitt makes us really empathise with the protagonist Rhonda. He highlights her weariness and constant paranoia, fostered through her perpetual battle with racism, "I've dealt with Wilbur Turgows my entire life." This is a point poignantly reiterated towards the end when Rhonda wails in despair "This storm ain't never going to be over. It started well before us and it'll keep blowing and blasting long after we're gone. There ain't never going to be an end to it and if there is, we'll be long dead." The statement at once potently encapsulates the struggle African-Americans, particularly of the South, have endured, and continue to endure.
Them Riders is a strong slice of short fiction and is a great opening to New Tales of the South, an anthology distinctly touching upon the Southern experience.