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Title:Local Souls
Format Type:eBook PDF / e-Pub
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Published:
ISBN:087140379X
Number of Pages:352

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The Myth of America's Decline: Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies

The Myth of America s Decline Politics Economics and a Half Century of False Prophecies

Once every decade it is decline time in America In recent years it has been the unstoppable rise of China that has spelled finis America What the Chinese juggernaut is today the Soviet Union We shall bury you was in the s The Vietnam decade of the s was described as America s collective suicide attempt while in the s the United States succumbed to Jimmy Carter s famous malaise as the dollar dangerously plummeted The s unquestionably belonged to a resurgent Japan the Rising Sun whereas in the s Europe shone forth as an empire by example In the naughts it was Asia Rising that became the flavor of the decade Despite a litany of prognostications these contenders have all fallen back one by one br While it may be catnip for the media to play up America as a has been Josef Joffe a leading German commentator and Stanford University academic compellingly shows that Declinism is not a cold eyed diagnosis but a device in the style of the ancient prophets Thou shalt perish unless Gloom is a prophecy that must be believed so that it will turn out wrong Joffe repeatedly demonstrates how the economic miracles that propelled the rising tide of challengers flounder against their own limits Hardly confined to Europe alone Declinism has also been an especially nifty career builder for American politicians among them Kennedy Nixon and Reagan who all rode into the White House by hawking the end is near br br br Buttressing his argument with facts Joffe demonstrates that America s future is sanguine In contrast to the Carter years the economic woes of the Obama era look more like a nasty migraine By historical standards the U S defense burden today is extraordinarily low hence sustainable over the long haul Immigration plus a healthy birth rate will not only keep the nation younger than China Japan Europe and Russia but will continue to bring in the world s best and brightest Indeed America is the world s Ph D factory both in science and engineering while its R spending dwarfs the rising rest Its uniquely deep and wide capital market encourages innovations and continues to turn dreams into vibrant companies br br br Joffe argues that it is only if America freezes up by enshrining privilege closing its doors and withdrawing from the world that it will succumb to the rigor mortis that has overwhelmed previous empires Effortlessly mixing keen historical insights with brilliant diplomatic and economic analysis em The Myth of America s Decline em becomes a remarkable reflection on our nation s standing in the world and an eye opening account that challenges the pervasive and now tired notion that America is on the decline


  • Children are Diamonds
  • Half the Kingdom
  • A Day at the Beach: Recollections
  • I Want to Show You More
  • Lost Man's River
  • Subtle Bodies
  • Death of the Black-Haired Girl
  • The Two Hotel Francforts
  • Work Like Any Other
  • The Morels
  • Firefly
  • Dirty Love

Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All

Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All

Allan Gurganus s b Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All b became an instant classic upon its publication Critics and readers alike fell in love with the voice of ninety nine year old Lucy Marsden one of the most entertaining and loquacious heoines in American literature br br Lucy married at the turn of the last century when she was fifteen and her husband was fifty If Colonel William Marsden was a veteran of the War for Southern Independence Lucy became a veteran of the veteran with a unique perspective on Southern history and Southern manhood Her story encompasses everything from the tragic death of a Confederate boy soldier to the feisty narrator s daily battles in the Home complete with visits from a mohawk coiffed candy striper b Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All b is proof that brilliant emotional storytelling remains at the heart of great fiction


Plays Well with Others

Plays Well with Others

With great narrative inventiveness and emotional amplitude Allan Gurganus gives us artistic Manhattan in the wild s where young artists refugees from the middle class hurl themselves into playful work and serious fun Our guide is Hartley Mims Jr a Southerner whose native knack for happiness might thwart his literary ambitions Through his eyes we encounter the composer Robert Christian Gustafson an Iowa preacher s son whose good looks constitute both a mythic draw and a major limitation and Angelina Alabama Byrnes a failed deb five feet tall but bristling with outsized talent These friends shelter each other promote each other s work and compete erotically When tragedy strikes this circle grows up fast somehow finding at the worst of times the truest sort of family br br Funny and heartbreaking as eventful as Dickens and as atmospheric as one of Fitzgerald s parties b Plays Well with Others b combines a fable s high noon energy with an elegy s evening grace Allan Gurganus s celebrated new novel is a lovesong to imperishable friendship a hymn to a brilliant and now vanished world


White People

White People

In these eleven stories Allan Gurganus author of the highly acclaimed b Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All b gives heartbreaking and hilarious voice to the fears desires and triumphs of a grand cast of Americans br br Here are war heroes bewildered by the complex negotiations of family life former debutantes called upon to muster resources they never knew they had vacationing senior citizens confronted by their own bravery and married men brought up short by the marvelous possibilities of entirely different lives Written with flair wit and deep humanity this award winning volume confirms Allan Gurganus as one of the finest writers of our time


The Practical Heart: Four Novellas

The Practical Heart Four Novellas

In his fictional Falls North Carolina a watchful zone of stifling mores Allan Gurganus s fond and comical characters risk everything to protect their improbable hopes from prejudice poverty betrayal Seeking warmth and true connection they shield themselves and loved ones while creating a rarely glimpsed world of valor minor grandeur side street heroics br br Muriel Fraser a poor Scottish born spinster is the subject of a John Singer Sargent portrait in the imagination of her devoted grand nephew Tad Worth a young man dying of AIDS finds ways to restore vitality to old friends and th century houses Overnight one pillar of the community accused of child molesting becomes the village pariah And Clyde Delman ugliest if kindest man in Falls finds the love of his eight year old son jeopardized when troubling family secrets arise In each of these splendid complex tales Allan Gurganus wrings truths sometimes bruising ofttimes warming from human hearts as immense as they are local


New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 2006

New Stories from the South The Year s Best

br We launch into our third decade by welcoming a guest editor to select and introduce each year s collection and who better to inaugurate the change than Allan Gurganus He has combed through hundreds of short stories written in to assemble a muscular array of talent twenty stories ranging from low down high octane farce to dark erotic suspense p This year s volume combines seasoned writers like Tony Earley Wendell Berry and George Singleton with gifted newcomers including Keith Lee Morris Erin Brooks Worley and J D Chapman Their stories range from a communal love poem for a hunting dog to a tale of a newly rich retiree trying to micromanage a Hollywood movie and losing his trophy wife to each new young screenwriter to a harrowing work about a Virginia slave woman burned alive for witchcraft p p As Gurganus writes in his introduction The only region of the U S ever to declare war on every other region of the nation won if not that great gray fib of secession then most of the recuperating country s truest stories p


Decoy: A Novella

Decoy A Novella

em Decoy em the concluding novella of Allan Gurganus s hugely acclaimed em Local Souls em was hailed as the standout of that work Critics called it humane profound hilarious nostalgic the literary equivalent of a bare knuckled knockout punch em Miami Herald em Like Kazuo Ishiguro s em The Remains of the Day em it is a haunting lyrical portrayal of a life half led Set in mythical Falls North Carolina this mysterious and compelling tale maps the lifelong eroticized friendship between two married men When Doc Roper the town s beloved physician announces he is retiring from practice to carve exquisite duck decoys he triggers an epidemic of catastrophes His dependent patient and next door neighbor Bill Mabry feels cut loose Then the close knit town is devastated by a flood of near biblical proportions Working inexorably to an unexpected moment of catharsis Dwight Garner em New York Times em em Decoy em already emerging as an essential work of American literature charts the tender border between life and death


Anche le sante hanno una madre

Anche le sante hanno una madre

Jean Mulray una donna di mezz et divorziata intelligente insoddisfatta madre di due piccoli gemelli ma soprattutto di una diciassettenne Caitlin che lei stessa ha ribattezzato e non senza irritazione la santa e di cui ammira e allo stesso tempo critica l eccessiva disponibilit verso il mondo La figlia infatti molto pi devota ai poveri che a sua madre cui ruba regolarmente scarpe e vestiti per portarli ai senzatetto Popolare bella sportiva e altruista l idolo della cittadina di Falls nel North Carolina br Quando poi Caitlin comunica alla madre di voler partire per l Africa con un associazione non profit per svolgere attivit di volontariato Jean si oppone con tutte le sue forze alimentando sempre di pi i conflitti con la figlia che le rimprovera di essere egoista e borghese br Dopo la partenza di Caitlin i contatti tra la madre e la figlia sono saltuari e difficoltosi per via dello scarso funzionamento di un telefono satellitare e soprattutto per l insofferenza di Caitlin verso i rimproveri e le cattive premonizioni della madre Finch una notte quando sembra disposta a tacitare la tensione generata dal sapere la figlia in un altro continente Jean riceve una telefonata br E nulla sar pi come prima


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Through memorable language and bawdy humor Gurganus returns to his mythological Falls North Carolina home of em Widow em This first work in a decade offers three novellas mirroring today s face lifted South a zone revolutionized around freer sexuality looser family ties and superior telecommunications yet it celebrates those locals who have chosen to stay local In doing so em Local Souls em uncovers certain old habits adultery incest obsession still very much alive in our New South a Winesburg Ohio with high speed Internet br br Wells Tower says of Gurganus No living writer knows more about how humans matter to each other Such ties of love produce hilarious if wrenching complications Fear Not gives us a banker s daughter seeking the child she was forced to surrender when barely fifteen only to find an adult rescuer she might have invented In Saints Have Mothers a beloved high school valedictorian disappears during a trip to Africa granting her ambitious mother a postponed fame that turns against her And in a dramatic Decoy the doctor patient friendship between two married men breaks toward desire just as a biblical flood shatters their neighborhood and rearranges their fates br br Gurganus finds fresh pathos in ancient tensions between marriage and Eros parenthood and personal fulfillment He writes about erotic hunger and social embarrassment with Twain s knife edged glee By loving Falls Gurganus dramatizes the passing of Hawthorne s small town nation into those Twitter nourished lives we now expect and relish br br Four decades ago John Cheever pronounced Allan Gurganus the most technically gifted and morally responsive writer of his generation em Local Souls em confirms Cheever s prescient faith It deepens the luster of Gurganus s reputation for compassion and laughter His black comedy leaves us with lasting affection for his characters and the aching aftermath of human consequences Here is a universal work about a village Local Souls books by Allan Gurganus

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