Southern Writers Earns High Marks From NYT

Chapel Hill author Nic Brown‘s debut book, Floodmarkers, is the focus of a rave review in this Sunday’s New York Times. After assessing several selections from the novel-in-stories, set in the shadow of Hurricane Hugo, reviewer Joe Meno concludes:

Reading Floodmarkers and peering into the lives of this town’s fully formed fictional inhabitants, it’s impossible not to wonder about the real-life human stories at the heart of recent large-scale catastrophes, both natural and manmade. What Brown does so expertly is to summon the brief, intimate moments — the single word shared between two characters, the simple gesture that quietly reveals hope.

Brown’s book tour has already taken him to Durham’s Regulator Bookshop, but more chances await to catch this young talent on his home turf. Mark your calendars now for Saturday, August 15, at McIntyre’s Books in Fearrington Village.

And Nashville-based writer Lydia Peelle, another Southerner soon to be making the rounds of N.C. bookstores, gets an equally fine treatment from this week’s NYT in a review of her debut story collection. That article begins with these lines:

Lydia Peelle’s lovely, fluid voice lures you into a world full of heartbreak and devastation. Her powerful first collection of stories, Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing, depicts the modern American South as a civilization that has pushed disastrously to the edges of everything. Nature is being systematically destroyed. People search in vain for some connection to the land or the past, or anything at all. The title of the collection strikes an uncharacteristically mannered note — and belongs, curiously, to the one story set in the North — but it does convey the book’s underlying stance: given the state of things, staying alive is something a reasonable person might have to be talked into. 

Peelle has a couple of signings scheduled for the Triangle. She’ll be at The Regulator Bookshop on Tuesday evening, August 11, and at Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books on Wednesday evening, August 12.

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