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Taking the Cure: A short story collection
Evoking the grit of Larry Brown, the playfulness of Barry Hannah, and, often, the critical edge of Flannery O’ Connor, James Madison Redd’s pitch-perfect ear for dialogue, idiom, and authentic detail exemplifies his complex understanding of the people of the South, as well as the traditions which continue to plague them. His tales unfold organically with voice-driven narration that reminds readers of Raymond Carver’s acknowledgement of the “startling power” of “commonplace but precise language.” ^ Taking the Cure, a collection of interrelated short stories, sees life through the perspective of the marginalized. Unfairly pushed to the fringes of polite Southern society, homosexuals and their children, ex-husbands and widowers, beggars and addicts, are just trying to live a happy life. The community claims that these “sinners” need redemption through either the church, prison, or rehabilitation. Yet these institutions’ “remedies” can cause great harm. Redd’s fiction proves that people who suffer need, not a judgmental, vengeful, and distant God, but acceptance, compassion, and understanding from the rest of humanity. ^
Literature, American|Regional Studies
Redd, James Madison, "Taking the Cure: A short story collection" (2013). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3559232.