PARLOUS ANGELS identifies the South by painting a portrait of family and class divides. Anger born in Reconstruction comes of age in textile mill row houses and confronts our fathers' university education. The collection of short stories connect across generations and not-so-random encounters to form close ties of class and family. We are the men we are, the mothers we are because of the people who came before. Their integrity, or lack of it, shapes us in their influence and abandonment. Ed Southern's self righteous aren't always so righteous, his privileged aren't always entitled, and he reveals we could learn a thing or three from those we see as derelict. Southern questions what the generation before sacrificed for what the generation after lost to get ahead.
Ed Southern's style is all about rhythm. Tales of high school basketball, back room poker, and punk show mosh pits are as active and rhythmic as the dialogue in his more sentimental, emotional stories.
PARLOUS ANGELS are timeless stories of the Southern Everyman. That's a heavy thing to say, because the Southern Everyman isn't ever easy to define. There is one constant: conflict, the best component of a good story. Ed Southern has it in spades.
How do YOU define the South? How do you think the guy living two miles or twelve hundred miles away describes the South?
Are we better off than our our grandparents? What defines progress?