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Tito Perdue

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Opportunities in Alabama Agriculture
by Tito Perdue   

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Books by Tito Perdue
· The Sweet-Scented Manuscript
· Fields of Asphodel
· Lee
· The New Austerities
                >> View all

Category: 

Literary Fiction

Publisher:  Baskerville ISBN-10:  1880909243 Type: 
Pages: 

222

Copyright:  1994
Fiction

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Just after the Civil War in an Alabama ravaged by volcanoes a young man leaves his demented father's compound and seeks a job and mate among fellow Alabamas. Blessed with an uncanny ability to spell (it lands him a teaching job) he fights and fumbles his way into respectability as the husband of a recently burned-out woman who still has many fertile acres and a sound barn...
On his way to becoming a patriarch he and his crops take such a beating that he is on the verge of losing everything...


 
    Strange, very strange.  
Excerpt
Followed then six years in silence. For if it were otherwise in old times, now it had come to this, that he dwelled on nine acres near to the edge of the world...

After a certain time, years went by. The county now was so much larger, he thought it might go on forever, reaching past the sun. Fog covered the East, smoke the West, and meanwhile his own father continued to hold in great ignorance the original nine ancient acres (badly worn) together with the fifty-eight that were new. Of these new acres, however, most were thin and already, three times, the plow had broken through...


Professional Reviews

A Lost Art
Opportunities is Perdue's strangest book so far. Although the setting is Alabama in the period between Reconstruction and World War II, it is an Alabama... in an early geological age, unsettled by volcanoes and populated by stragglers, vagabonds, and eccentrics. It is a parallel-universe Alabama, whose connections with the real state and time serve only to reveal the strangeness of the place... (From Tom Fleming's review in Chronicles Magazine of Dec., 1996.)

Opportunities in Alabama Agriculture
... affords the reader a nostalgic look back at the end of pre-industrial Deep South society. Perdue's writing is hard, uncompromising and darkly humorous as he weaves a witty yarn which reveals something important about our past as well. (From Joe Wagner's review in Book Notes of April 2, 1995)

Southern Seen
Ben's is an odyssey and a genealogy no different from that of thousands of other southern boys caught in the transition century between the Civil War and World War II. The difference is that Perdue invests the saga of leaving and longing with poetry, and suddenly our grandfathers take on nobility that may have escaped them at the time. (From Larry McGehee's review of April, 1995)


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