Charity: Stories

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Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 1998 - Fiction - 147 pages
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With Charity, Mark Richard again secures the distinction of poet laureate of the orphaned poor, the broken, the deceived, and the unrelieved. In stylistic brilliance, he renders their conditions with grace and compassion, and redeems and transports their tragedy with wicked humor.

In the much-anthologized "The Birds for Christmas," two hospitalized boys beg a night nurse to let them watch Hitchcock's classic thriller film on television, believing it will relieve their Yuletide loneliness. "Gentleman's Agreement" is a classic father-son story of fear and the violence of love. In "Memorial Day," a bayou boy learns the lessons of living from Death himself, a fortune cookie-eating phantom who claims to be "a people person." From charity ward to outrageous beach bungalow, Richard visits the overlooked corners of America, making them unforgettably visible.

Richard has been rightly compared to Faulkner for his language and to Flannery O'Connor for his stark moral vision, but his force and sensibility remain his own. Charity is a powerful reading experience, a true accomplishment in an already stunning literary career.

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Charity: stories

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In his second collection (after Ice at the Bottom of the World, LJ 4/1/89, and the novel Fishboy, LJ 5/1/93), this PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award winner chooses subjects that are anything but ... Read full review

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User Review  - cmtusa - LibraryThing

If you love gritty, surreal southern writing riddled with imaginative and haunting imagery (which I do), this is the book for you. Read full review


Gentlemans Agreement
The Birds for Christmas
Fun at the Beach

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About the author (1998)

Richard became the youngest radio announcer in the country at the age of thirteen. He attended Washington and Lee University. After his third year there he left to work on oceangoing trawlers and fishing boats. After three years on the water he returned to school and earned a degree in journalism. Since that time Mark has been employed as a radio announcer, aerial photographer, house painter, advertising copywriter, naval correspondent for a newspaper, magazine editor, bartender, private investigator, and teacher.

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