Daren Dean pic 2What have you been reading in terms of new fiction? Can you make any recommendations?

If you like Cormac McCarthy, read Secessia by Kent Wascom; If you like grit lit, read A Tree Born Crooked by Steph Post; if you want a writer with her finger on the pulse of contemporary life, then read Refund by Karen Bender; If you long for prose reminiscent of incredibly bright moments that Raymond Carver was so adept at creating, then read Dispensations by Randolph Thomas; for New Orleans grit, read Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa; If you want a writer with the linguistic brilliance of Barry Hannah, try The Book of Duels by Michael Garriga; if you want to read a contemporary and brilliant southern writer then look no further than the current summer issues of both Tin House and Zoetrope for two short stories by Jennifer Davis. Finally, I’m especially looking forward to a Civil War novel called Fallen Land by Taylor Brown. That ought to keep y’all busy.

DeancoverNext day I went over to Aunt Oleta’s and she gave me the biggest dressing down you ever heard even though I hand-picked a bunch of wildflowers for her. She was wound tighter than Dick’s hatband that day, but she was glad to see me and made me eat a leftover salmon patty with a side of macaroni and cheese after she fixed my face up with a big Ace bandage. A tree branch or something had scratched my face worse than a wildcat. I thought it made me look tough, but she insisted on making me look like a dork with a big bandage on my face. She said I looked plumb wild, and she made me strip down naked right there in the kitchen, which I didn’t want to do because of the tattoo Rusty had given me. I tried to turn away from her so she wouldn’t see and she near about had a conniption fit! She licked her fingers and tried to rub it off but it wouldn’t come off. She gave me a mean look and let go of my arm and just pointed to the bathroom in silence. I took a bath with Clarence peeking in and pestering me not to use all his Mr. Bubble the whole time. Aunt Oleta threatened to burn my clothes, but instead, she hauled them off to the laundry room.