These stories explore a set of lives and events in the white American south — the desegregation of a school, the insecurity of a divorced worker, the generation gap in a Vietnam-era family, the loss of maternal dreams as her children grow, the search for truth behind an old family tale, and a son’s strained loyalty to his estranged parents — all of which reflect the country's surly, growing cultural restlessness.
“These are skillfully rendered tales of troubled souls—young and old, innocent and not so innocent—searching for meaning in lives past and present and doing so in a time and region wrapped in tradition, class, and repressed desire, from a fine new voice that reflects, refracts, and often wonderfully upends old Southern literary standards.”
—George Rollie Adams, author of the multiple prize-winning novel South of Little Rock
“Funny, raw, smart, and with a true ear for the ragged music of a certain Southern English—that's how Charles Lamar Phillips's stories hit. It's fine work that feels drawn from life.”
—James Whorton, Jr., author of Angela Sloan, Frankland, and Approximately Heaven
“The humane, curious, and sympathetic eye of Charles Lamar Phillips is on full display in the virtuosic short stories of Dead South. Reading this book is an immersive and—corny as it probably sounds—life-affirming experience. Phillips is a gifted and supremely original writer.”
—Christine Sneed, author of The Virginity of Famous Men and Little Known Facts