Visible Spirits

Front Cover
Knopf, 2001 - Fiction - 273 pages
1 Review
A heart-stopping story--by an award-winning novelist--located at the dead center of Southern mythology and our most intransigent national trauma.
The Mississippi Delta, fabled "South of the South," is replete with plantations carved from the wilderness, rich soil and King Cotton, with field chants and blues laments, violence and tragedy. In this austerely beautiful landscape,
by 1902, Reconstruction is being encroached upon by Jim Crow. And in the town of Loring, the tenure of a black postmistress is compromised when the prodigal son of a once mighty planting family returns home. A gambler run
out of luck and a great many venues, he finds his diminished prospects as unappealing as the political moderation of his brother, now both mayor and editor of the newspaper. Their fraternal tension quickly spreads through the countryside--some citizens striving for the better world ostensibly promised, others for the vestigial antebellum order. Caught squarely in the center of this tortured dynamic is the postmistress herself, her fate further complicated when President Roosevelt, on federal grounds, intervenes personally.
And so this local, even familial dispute inevitably erupts, fueled by all the dark, brutal memories of slavery, civil war and emancipation. In this crucible of race relations and mythology, people black and white alike are tested relentlessly by history and human nature, by passions at once ambivalent and fierce. And with this masterful novel, Steve Yarbrough confronts character with morality, love with hatred, reason with blood--and with great authority and compassion he extends a rich tradition of our national literature.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SqueakyChu - LibraryThing

I don't know why I like to read Steve Yarbrough's books of such "cringe-worthy" characters as those present in this book. I think that's because this author can bring people of a certain time and ... Read full review

Visible spirits

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Reading these loosely connected short narratives is like reading the metaphysical poets in fictional form. Alvarez renders complex emotions in the oddest concrete objects and incidents, finding ... Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

32 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

Steve Yarbrough is the author of three story collections & a novel, "The Oxygen Man", which received the Mississippi Author's Award, the California Book Award, & a third from the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters. He lives in Fresno, California.

Bibliographic information