Books by Mississippi Writers 1996-2010



Lewis Nordan


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Nonfiction by Lewis Nordan Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (Hardcover, $23.95, ISBN: 1565121996, 1/2000) In reading Nordan's delightfully yarny but very moving memoir, one certainly recognizes the provenance of his delightfully yarny but very moving novels, including Wolf Whistle (1993), The Sharpshooter Blues (1995), and Lightning Song (1997). The author piles warm, humorous, and often poignant episode upon episode as he recalls his life. Nordan never knew his father, who died suddenly, and his father's absence in Nordan's life "has always been a significant blank spot in [his] imagination." Nordan grew up in Itta Bena, Mississippi, and it is within that evocative Delta setting that his early remembrances are set, including the first time he ever saw a television set. Nordan's mother remarried, and his stepfather occupies many pages of these recollections. When he was 15, he left home for the first time, taking a bus trip to Memphis; after that, Itta Bena couldn't hold him. He left home for New York, did a stint in the navy, attended college, and got married. As he came into writing as his life's purpose, darkness followed: a horrible car accident in which someone was killed, the suicide of a son, too much drinking, and divorce; remarriage and giving up alcohol have supplied the necessary light at the end of the tunnel. Nordan is a natural, honest, and widely appealing storyteller. ―Brad Hooper, Booklist

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