NEW IN 2019
While the wilderness has pretty much been compromised, plants and animals survive the best they can. To them the presence of humans is simply another environmental stress on their population, so they adapt, or they find the places humans have neglected (or minimally impacted) to carve out a life. This is what journalist Marion T. Smith has found as he walked the rural roads of Georgia. “Nature exists and persists all around us,” he said. “We just have to look around and pay attention.” This book is the result of just such an activity, “looking around” over a period of seven years. “The abundance and variety of natural things I found astounded me,” he said. “It is my hope that this collection will inspire others to pay attention to the natural world.” Marion T. Smith is a retired journalist and author. He lives in Athens, Georgia with his daughter, three grandsons, two dogs, and two cats.
BY THE SAME AUTHOR: LIFE IN THE PARK, by Ted Smith, on our Lichtenbergian Press imprint.
Hall’s Corner, Georgia does not exist. But it could exist and therefore does exist. Its residents are ordinary people who are dealing with conflicts that are common but this exploration of their lives reveals the depths that exist below the surface. Every person has a story, some which extend into the past, and some which take on mythic portions in the present.
The novel is told in the form of short stories.
In “A French solution,” Sophie is a mousy little housewife until one day an exotic woman asks her to take a good look at herself look in a mirror.
Four friends have a drug fueled orgy in “who wants pie?” that is cathartic and gives one of them a glimpse into the future.
In “Sea of China,” three illegal Chinese immigrants reach America after an arduous journey but suffer much different fates on their arrival.
Jake faces a surreal dilemma in “Life in the park” until he realizes the solution is as obvious as it is bizarre.
Five of the county’s leading men gather for “The Poker Game” but the surprising prize goes to an unlikely winner and changes his life forever.
In “The Highly Improbable Thing,” Ekee is assured by Danny that Ramona is a sure thing but her father and his shotgun proves that she is nothing of the sort.
Ekee decides to play at trick on Benny Ben, a hardheaded and mischievous six-year-old, but he learns that he should’ve picked on someone his own size in “Benny Ben and the Gorilla.”
In “An Azure Sky Full of Exotic Portents,” Mandy Burns is a one-time party girl who is very unhappy in her marriage to Bud, and a wild adventure with her sister Debbie brings everything to a breaking point.
Bean thinks of himself as a poet but soon learns that to be one he must suffer and suffer greatly in “A Poet’s Curse.”
Dave is a agnostic Yankee who has a brief affair with Doris, a southern Christian fundamentalist, with an inevitable result in “Hall’s Corner, Midday.”
In “The Dominecker War,” a young black man named Marvin and a young white woman named Jennifer Ann feel a strong attraction to each other, but a tragedy changes everything.
Ted Jaworrski just graduated from Georgia Tech and is thinking of going to graduate school, but he has trouble extricating himself from his old life in “The Misadventures of Ted Jacuzzi.”
Lois is trapped in a life of repetition and uses poetry and fantasy to maintain her identity in “November 4, 1998.”
When “Plum” Thompson and his wife Imogene die in an apparent murder-suicide, it sends shock waves through Carter County, but the reactions to the deaths of two of the counties most outstanding citizens varies in surprising ways in “The Will of God.”
Ekee resents the fact that Jennifer Ann, an elderly black woman, doesn’t pay the rent in the EZ Mobile Home Park as per his uncle’s instruction and figures she must be a kept woman, and one night while drunk the acts on his theory with totally unexpected results.
After “The Funeral” Adam, Rachel, grace, and Jake catch up on recent events, then Jake takes Grace on a historical tour of part of the county as a romance between them begins to take root.
Several women in the EZ mobile home park gather to help one of them deal with a life-changing situation made more complicated by a shooting next door in “The Women’s Circle.”
Every life is a story and the lives of people in the Hall’s Corner community intersect and entwine in a tapestry, some with roots deep in the past, some with secrets, or dramas small and large, and close and far reaching in Life in the Park.