Blue Awesome Ascending: A Novel

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Univ. of Tennessee Press, 2008 - Fiction - 249 pages
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Pearl Harbor has just been bombed, and thirteen-year old Blue Awesome Easterly yearns to grow up fast, join the Army Air Corps, and become a hero. But one-eyed Aunt Spook warns him: "Beware the light!" She knows, because "the swamp people told me while I was in a trance," that Blue Awesome is fated to see events from the past-revealed in flashes of light only he can see. "This light never dies," cautions Aunt Spook. "And it never forgets what it sees."

Blue Awesome's parents operate their funeral parlor/telephone business out of their home, Welcome Hall, in deep south Home Free, a small village not far from Swamp Ha-Ha, an area as "rural as raw peanuts." Blue Awesome's mother, Ethyl, more or less runs the businesses by herself because his father, Poordaddy, teaches in his private, tuition-free Classic Academy for Young Men. The Easterlys are getting by fine until the commander of the new Army base asks them to secretly embalm a murdered African American officer. When word gets out, local vigilantes turn their world upside down. But that's just the half of it.

Take a pinch of Gabriel García Márquez, a dollop of Riddley Walker, a touch of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a smidgen of William Kotzwinkle-blend thoroughly, bake at high heat (swamp temperature would be best) and you have this entirely new confection, Blue Awesome Ascending. Prepare for a feast.
 

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Contents

New Years eve 1941
1
april 1942
16
iNdepeNdeNCe daY 1942
30
the priCe of iNdepeNdeNCe
41
the priCe still paid
54
Bastille daY 1942
66
the promise of returN
79
poordaddYs lameNt
90
aN eNCouNter with the eNemY
145
the CitY BeNeath the streets
152
the fiNal Color of Blood
168
departure time
178
the turNs of the CaleNdar aNd the returN of moshe duraNd
195
flashpoiNt
211
the promised laNd
229
exodus
239

the Colors of autumN
103
GiviNGthaNks
121
shariNG the seCret
135
aCkNowledGmeNts
251
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About the author (2008)

Hubert H. Whitlow Jr. is Professor Emeritus of Library Science and Political Science at Georgia Highlands College. He has published stories in Southern Humanities Review and The Louisville Review, and Beloit Fiction Journal.

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