Delta Blues

Delta Blues

Carolyn Haines, Charlaine Harris

Language: English

Pages: 392


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A dollar donation for every book sold will be given to the Rock River Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping the arts and literacy in the Delta.

Contributing to the volume are Ace Atkins, Lynne Barrett, James Lee Burke, Suzann Ellingsworth, Beth Ann Fennelly, Bill Fitzhugh, Tom Franklin, John Grisham, Carolyn Haines, Charlaine Harris, Suzanne Hudson, Alice Jackson, Dean James, Toni L.P. Kelner, Michael Lister, Daniel Martine, Mary Saums, David Sheffield, Nathan Singer, and Les Standiford.

From the introduction by Morgan Freeman:

This collection of short fiction captures both the art of the tale and the power of the blues, and is a nod at the human condition that often inspires musicians to write and sing the blues. These stories tell about bad men and bad women who sometimes do good—or sometimes follow their true nature. Some of these characters know all about the dangers of making a bargain with the devil. And some know the power of redemption. These are characters who would not be out of place in a Honeyboy Edwards tune, and would be right at home alongside the desolate wail of Clarksdale, Mississippi, native Son House.


















Parchman was a state institution that turned a profit. “I like that dress.” Dale came up behind me. His hands circled my bare arms and squeezed, hard. Something about bruises made him happy. “Thank you, Dale.” I’d learned quickly the important lines for the role I played—thank you, yes, yes and thank you. The dress was awful. The bright yellow made my white skin look sallow and my hair garish. The band struck up then. Mizelle moved the bottle neck along the guitar strings, makin’ a guttural

listening to, Del—ever the enthusiast—felt like he had tapped into the planet Pluto. But that was long, long ago, and the Hoss Man and John R. and Gene Nobles had all been dead for years. Del had seen a squib about the DJ’s and their offbeat station and its “cult following” in the New York Times in fact, a dozen years or so ago, when the Hoss Man, the last surviving member of the group, had passed away. WLAC, he recalled then. “The voice of Nashville Life and Casualty.” But what was the Hoss Man

thoughts. Let it out in the lyrics. So do you believe I can sing?” “I would imagine so,” she said, thinking, betrayal feels like the big, silver blade of a very sharp knife slicing cleanly through the jugular. He betrayed me and I was unleashed in an unthinkable way, into utter insanity. I was not responsible, nor do I regret. The lioness kills to protect her vulnerable offspring, after all. Is there an analogy to be had? Does it even matter? “—and my boyfriend—he’s a tattoo artist—he did all

to church in—cleaned them off with bread crumbs: rolled the soft bread along so it picked up any little dirt that got on the fingertips.” Luis is filled with a question he can’t think of any way to express. As he walks along the road, he looks up and sees Celia Bishop standing in an ivory robe on the porch above the elaborate portico. The house’s square whiteness floats above the brick foundation, like the phantom of a temple that was here six hundred years ago. Over the treetops hangs the huge

inevitable assignation in yet another hotel room in some podunk town. I knew what loneliness was. Or so I thought. But I also knew, deep down in my gut, that a lifetime of guilt was the engine of my despair. And that despair fueled my playing, cost me my family life, drove me to drink and drugs, and made me a lying, cheating fornicator of the first rank. Nick watched me closely. The merest wisp of a sardonic smile creased his rugged, redbone features. He enjoyed my discomfiture and probably was

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