The Shoe Burnin’: Stories of Southern Soul is a collection of the works of 24 diverse, talented southern writers and singers.
George Singleton is a Southern author who has written five collections of short stories, three novels and a book of writing advice. He was born in Anaheim, Calif., and raised in Greenwood, S.C. He graduated from Furman University in 1980 with a degree in Philosophy. He also holds an MFA degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
His stories have also appeared in magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s Magazine, Playboy, Zoetrope, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah and others. He’s had work anthologized in nine editions of New Stories from the South, plus Writers Harvest 2, A Dixie Christmas, They Write Among Us, 20 Over 40, Must Be This Tall to Ride, Love Is a Four-Letter Word, and Behind the Short Story: from First to Final Draft. His nonfiction has appeared in the Oxford American, Best Food Writing 2005, Dog Is My Co-Pilot, and Paste.
Currently, Singleton teaches fiction writing and editing at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. In 2009, Singleton was a Guggenheim Fellow, and in 2011 he was awarded the Hillsdale Award for Fiction by The Fellowship of Southern Writers. Dzanc Books published Singleton’s fifth book of short stories, Stray Decorum, in September 2012.
Excerpt from The Shoe Burnin': Stories of Southern Soul
“Spastic” by George Singleton
The Calloustown station remains open twenty four hours a day, though no Greyhound or Trailways bus has pulled up for passengers to disembark in fifteen years. The building—plastered-over cement blocks that nearly look stucco, thus exotic among the mobile homes, wooden bungalows, shingle-sided shotgun shacks, and fieldstone salt boxes—holds, still, a linoleum-floored waiting room with chairs shoved in three rows along the walls. There are two restrooms, both with working sinks and toilets, and a glass-fronted booth where someone sold tickets, offered advice, tagged luggage, and so on. A television’s mounted on the southwest corner of the waiting room, six inches from touching the ceiling. There’s a half-filled gumball machine, the proceeds of which aid small children with birth defects. No one has ever thought to crack open the globe and steal its pennies. An empty cigarette machine with a rust-splattered mirror and rusted silver knobs stands in the corner—$1.75 a pack for Lark, Camel, Lucky Strikes, Pall Mall, Viceroy, Kent, Winston, Marlboro. There’s the smell of Juicy Fruit in the air, of plastic, of instant coffee.
Why Dogs Chase Cars: Tales of a Beleaguered Boyhood
“Like a gentler Harry Crews, Singleton explores the backwaters of Southern life in this offbeat, episodic collection.”
“In between swipes at homogeneity and herd mentality, Singleton creates a dead-on portrait of the way we carry our childhoods into adulthood and how, despite vows to leave small towns, we can end up back home, still running, like stray dogs hoping a passing car will stop and give us a ride somewhere else.”
“A disturbingly askew–at times, downright surreal–vision of the South.”
“This is a South that knows something of suburbia, and while the characters may not be in the best circumstances, this is a great new take on the hard-drinking, hardscrabble Southerner.”
—Raleigh News and Observer
Why Dogs Chase Cars: Tales of a Beleaguered Boyhood, Expanded Edition (Southern Revivals) (2013)
Stray Decorum (2012)
Pep Talks, Warnings, And Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom And Cautionary Advice For Writers (2008)
Work Shirts for Madmen (2007)
Drowning in Gruel (2006)
Why Dogs Chase Cars: Tales of a Beleaguered Boyhood (Shannon Ravenel Books) (2004)
The Half-Mammals of Dixie (2003)
These People Are Us (2001)