Simons Everson Manigault ("You say it `Simmons.` I`m a rare one-m Simons") lives with his mother, an eccentric professor (known as the Duchess), on an isolated and undeveloped strip of South Carolina coast. Convinced that her son can be a writer of genius, the Duchess has immersed Simons in the literary classics since birth ("Like some kids swat mobiles, I was to thumb pages") and has given him free rein to gather materials in such spots as the Baby Grand, a local black nightclub. ("It was an assignment. I`m supposed to write. I`m supposed to get good at it.")
From the highly acclaimed author of Edisto and The Interrogative Mood, Padgett Powell's new collection of stories, Cries for Help, Various Stories, follows his mentor Donald Barthelme's advice that "wacky mode must "break their hearts". The surrealistic and comical terrain of most of the 44 stories here is grounded by a real preoccupation with longing, fear, work, loneliness, and cultural nostalgia. These universal concerns are given exhilarating life by way of Powell's "wit, his...dazzling turns of phrase" (Scott Spencer).
Selected Shorts: Falling in Love presents a collection of stirring tales of love and longing. Selected Shorts is an award-winning series of classic and contemporary short fiction read by acclaimed actors. The Selected Shorts radio series is a co-production of Symphony Space and WNYC, New York Public Radio, and is heard on public radio stations nationwide.
"all of the selected shorts series are the best"
Two loquacious men sit talking on a porch. Funny and profound, daft and cogent, they argue about love and sex, how best to live and die, the merits of Miles Davis and Cadillacs and Hollywood starlets of yore, underused cliches, false truisms, and the meaning of nihilism. Together, they shoot the shit - and then they go on shooting it long after it's dead.
Ribald and roaring, You & Me is an exuberant and very funny novel from a master of American fiction at the top of his game.
Ostensibly writing her grocery list, Mrs. Hollingsworth most happily loses her sense of herself. Her list becomes a discovery of the things she has and those she lacks, including men - even her own husband. Mrs. Hollingsworth begins her list by imagining a "lost love" story in which she is playful with and disdainful of the conventions of Southern literature. Soon tiring of that, she decides to turn up her imagination.
Hailed by Time as an “extravagantly comic” novel, A Woman Named Drown is a wild and strange journey through America’s South that follows a young PhD dropout who falls in with an amateur actress-cum–pool shark. On the brink of earning his doctorate in chemistry, the unnamed narrator decides to chuck it all away in favor of real life. So begins an odd pilgrimage through the American South.
Fourteen years after we first met Simons Manigault, our protagonist is newly graduated from Clemson University, bored, unfocused, and idling his summer away at his mother’s home in Edisto, South Carolina. Not yet ready to fully embrace adulthood, Simons finds himself surrendering to cynicism, as well as to the temptations of his "turned-out-well" first cousin, Patricia. To avoid sinking further into his rut, Simons embarks on a road trip through the South.