The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish

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Product Details

Price
$23.95  $22.03
Publisher
Unbridled Books
Publish Date
Pages
210
Dimensions
5.82 X 1.08 X 8.54 inches | 0.94 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781932961317
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Elise Blackwell is the author of The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish and Hunger, chosen by the Los Angeles Times as one of the best books of 2003. Her stories have appeared in Witness, Seed, Global City Review, Topic, and elsewhere. Originally from southern Louisiana, she teaches at the University of South Carolina.

Reviews


"In Blackwell's lyrical second novel...Louis Proby waits in New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina bears down. He reflects on his childhood in Cypress Parish, LA, when a disastrous flood in 1927 changed the fortunes of so many.... Blackwell weaves human history with the natural history and, with an assortment of vibrant characters, tells a compelling story of a river that still resists the best math and science humanity can construct. Highly recommended."--Library Journal, STARRED
..".Elise Blackwell's second novel looks back to the flood of 1927 (a real event) in the (fictional) Cypress Parish, childhood home of Louis Proby.... From the vantage point of old age, Louis looks back on the choices he made in 'the strange and wet spring I turned 17 and crossed the marshy border that separates all that is good and bad of boyhood from all that is good and bad of manhood.'"
--The New York Times
..". an intimate, resonant history of the era.... Blackwell...elegantly chronicles Louis's conflict between protecting his first love and his obligations to his father....."--Publishers Weekly
"Blackwell's grasp of the events surrounding the great flood is acute and grounded in a moral logic that reveals how politics can destroy a city. . . . Blackwell's delicate balancing of history and fiction... has become, in The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish, even more subtle and elegant." --The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA)
.."..qualities reminiscent of Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's and Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. ...[L]ike those novels, Blackwell's is a tightly written story that forces the reader to sit down and take notice. Like Capote and Conrad, Blackwell weaves more than a lifetime of insights into this book.... The richness of Blackwell's novel is that it is many stories in one... coming-of-age ...the underside of politics...[and] a love story.... [with] descriptions...beautifully written and erotic-- but without being seamy or tawdry. The South, in a lot of popular culture, is too often portrayed as a region of buffoons and psychopaths. Elise Blackwell refuses to accept that demeaning view.... Blackwell has produced a literary gem that portrays the South with all its layered complexity." -The Herald-Sun (Durahm, NC)
"The present haunts the past in this beautiful and timely book. Blackwell burns time, love, and loss down into a bed of discrete mnemonic coals. The voice is so true that it reads like the purest, most authentic memoir. This novel is tough, and sad, and lovely."-- Brad Watson, author of Heaven of Mercury and Last Days of the Dog Men
..". Elise Blackwell once again demonstrates her marvelous talent for braiding together public and private history. The result is a beautifully written and absorbing novel. -- Margot Livesey, author of The Missing World, Criminals and other novels
"Elise Blackwell's novels are sublime. Rendered with precision and humanity,
The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish is, like Hunger, about memory, history, and what guilt can do to a person over the course of a life. It is also a tour de force. I cannot recommend it highly enough." --Anthony Doerr, author of The Shell Collector and About Grace
"'Who I am remains intimately gnarled with where I came from, ' says narrator Louis Proby.... 'And where I came from is the place making the news, the place in the line of fire, soon to be the eye of the storm.' ... The novel comes alive...once the river's innate turbulence becomes a tangible threat, and Louis...is privy to backroom negotiations to sacrifice Cypress Parish by dynamiting its levee in order to save New Orleans. The cruel pragmatism of the men who dicker over the future of Louis' home foreshadows the real-life callousness and shortsightedness we now know led to the man-made disaster of Hurricane Katrina. ....[I]n scenes...of the intentional destruction of a levee, or the description of the pilots who flew above the town in the days before the dynamiting...we see the venal hubris of men who have tried to control nature, and in their failure, destroyed an entire way of life."--San Francisco Chronicle

"In Blackwell's lyrical second novel...Louis Proby waits in New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina bears down. He reflects on his childhood in Cypress Parish, LA, when a disastrous flood in 1927 changed the fortunes of so many.... Blackwell weaves human history with the natural history and, with an assortment of vibrant characters, tells a compelling story of a river that still resists the best math and science humanity can construct. Highly recommended."--Library Journal, STARRED

..".Elise Blackwell's second novel looks back to the flood of 1927 (a real event) in the (fictional) Cypress Parish, childhood home of Louis Proby.... From the vantage point of old age, Louis looks back on the choices he made in 'the strange and wet spring I turned 17 and crossed the marshy border that separates all that is good and bad of boyhood from all that is good and bad of manhood.'"
--The New York Times

..". an intimate, resonant history of the era.... Blackwell...elegantly chronicles Louis's conflict between protecting his first love and his obligations to his father....."--Publishers Weekly

"Blackwell's grasp of the events surrounding the great flood is acute and grounded in a moral logic that reveals how politics can destroy a city. . . . Blackwell's delicate balancing of history and fiction... has become, in The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish, even more subtle and elegant." --The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA)

.."..qualities reminiscent of Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's and Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. ...[L]ike those novels, Blackwell's is a tightly written story that forces the reader to sit down and take notice. Like Capote and Conrad, Blackwell weaves more than a lifetime of insights into this book.... The richness of Blackwell's novel is that it is many stories in one... coming-of-age ...the underside of politics...[and] a love story.... [with] descriptions...beautifully written and erotic-- but without being seamy or tawdry. The South, in a lot of popular culture, is too often portrayed as a region of buffoons and psychopaths. Elise Blackwell refuses to accept that demeaning view.... Blackwell has produced a literary gem that portrays the South with all its layered complexity." -The Herald-Sun (Durahm, NC)

"The present haunts the past in this beautiful and timely book. Blackwell burns time, love, and loss down into a bed of discrete mnemonic coals. The voice is so true that it reads like the purest, most authentic memoir. This novel is tough, and sad, and lovely."-- Brad Watson, author of Heaven of Mercury and Last Days of the Dog Men

..". Elise Blackwell once again demonstrates her marvelous talent for braiding together public and private history. The result is a beautifully written and absorbing novel. -- Margot Livesey, author of The Missing World, Criminals and other novels

"Elise Blackwell's novels are sublime. Rendered with precision and humanity,
The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish is, like Hunger, about memory, history, and what guilt can do to a person over the course of a life. It is also a tour de force. I cannot recommend it highly enough." --Anthony Doerr, author of The Shell Collector and About Grace

"'Who I am remains intimately gnarled with where I came from, ' says narrator Louis Proby.... 'And where I came from is the place making the news, the place in the line of fire, soon to be the eye of the storm.' ... The novel comes alive...once the river's innate turbulence becomes a tangible threat, and Louis...is privy to backroom negotiations to sacrifice Cypress Parish by dynamiting its levee in order to save New Orleans. The cruel pragmatism of the men who dicker over the future of Louis' home foreshadows the real-life callousness and shortsightedness we now know led to the man-made disaster of Hurricane Katrina. ....[I]n scenes...of the intentional destruction of a levee, or the description of the pilots who flew above the town in the days before the dynamiting...we see the venal hubris of men who have tried to control nature, and in their failure, destroyed an entire way of life."--San Francisco Chronicle