In Georgia: A Yankee Family in the Segregated South
by Jerome Gold
Blue Heron Press

"Paul did not know then that this kind of memory does not leave you, that it may sleep for a while, for years, even decades, but it is still there, waiting to surface under provocation."

In the eponymous novella opening this collection, readers enter the Deep South, where, to a young boy named Paul, it seems the Civil War never ended. Archaic social constructs still rule with oppressive iron and fists. As Paul first encounters the effects of racial segregation and those of Brown v. Board of Education, readers follow his confusion at the South's social expectations. He achieves this through his careful observations of his family's experiences of coming under attack for taking a stand for those the system oppresses. In subsequent stories detailing misguided youths in rehabilitative centers, troubled young men convicted of murder, and an environment and its creatures succumbing to humankind's will, this collection examines and reexamines, as one narrator states, "the tragic condition of our species."

In a world facing ongoing social, political, and environmental challenges, the stories in this collection could not be more relevant and thought-provoking. In brief snapshots, this book captures oppression-laden snippets of life that many fail to realize exist. Using eloquent prose, stories like "The Lonely Diver" and "Tragedy in the Desert" discuss the repercussions that humanity faces for disrupting and destroying the natural world. Stories like "Ambition" ring with an observance, criticism, and admission reminiscent of poet Paul Celan while scrutinizing a system that challenges one of the oppressed to become the oppressor. This collection ends with the piece "Monday Morning in Early September," a humble story that questions the loss caused by the senseless violence that many face daily. Fans of fiction that engages while also provoking thought and discussion may find much to appreciate in this book.

The author's previous book, Paranioa & Heartbreak: Fifteen Years in a Juvenile Facility, was a 2020 Eric Hoffer Book Award Montaigne Medal Finalist.

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