The Half-Mammals of Dixie

The Half-Mammals of Dixie


By George Singleton

Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Hardcover, 9781565123540, 287pp.

Publication Date: August 2002

George Singleton, who's had many stories published in the best literary journals, has recently burst into the big time with appearances in Playboy, Zoetrope, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's Magazine and Book. The stories in his new collection are wild and wooly - or maybe we should say wild and half-wooly. In any case, they're definitely not for the creationist crowd or for the laughter impaired. For example:

- A self-described "primitive artist," getting rich off religious canvases, is mistaken for a faith healer.

- A lovelorn dad woos his third grader's teacher with very special show-and-tells, including long lost love letters to Shakespeare from Anne Hathaway, to Fred Astaire from Ginger Rogers, and to Henry VIII from all of his wives.

- A boy's reputation is ruined forever when he accepts the starring role in a documentary on diagnosing head lice.

Off-the-wall. But also utterly believable and written with tremendous affection for the people and their place-a place called Forty-Five, part of the contemporary South that's far removed from big city Atlanta or proper Charleston and, in fact, much like Singleton's own hometown of Dacusville, South Carolina. As he says of his characters, "They're regular people just trying to get by. Most of them aren't jaded by everyday life, though perhaps they should have been long ago. There are some with physical and mental limitations, but I hope all of them have heart."

They do indeed, just like their stories.

About the Author
George Singleton lives in Dacusville, South Carolina, and teaches writing at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities. His short stories appear regularly in national magazines--the "Atlantic Monthly", "Harper's Magazine", "Zoetrope", "Playboy"--and literary journals--the "Southern Review", "Shenandoah", the "Georgia Review", "Yalobusha Review", and many others. He is also the author of "These People Are Us" and "The Half-Mammals of Dixie".