The Shoe Burnin’: Stories of Southern Soul is a collection of the works of 24 diverse, talented southern writers and singers.
If I could reach back and speak to my eight-year-old self, industriously writing the 1960s version of fanfiction (i.e., my takes on Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins, in pencil in composition books) in my bedroom in San Diego, the one with the plum tree right outside my sliding glass door, I’d say: Well, guess what. When you’re 54 you’ll have published some fiction and stuff and now you’re a reporter and you’ve traveled all around the world (and married wisely and had two great kids also, let’s not forget) and you wrote a poem about an annual ritual some friends of yours engage in, in which people throw their old shoes into a bonfire as if burning up their sorrows and sins—yes, real shoes, made of leather and rubber and god knows what — and then write and sing about it. And your poem is now part of this story. How cool is that? Pretty cool.
A Trumpet Field and Other Stories
“In this vastly accessible but all too short book, Janet Nodar brings together a set of stories mostly set in her adopted state of Alabama. The story lines flow very easily, and the prose is mostly poetic, the way childhoods in the South are remembered. The subjects of the 11 stories range from mysteries to memoirs, and are infused with a sense of being there, a comfortable sense that the reader can feel the heat of a baking Gulf Coast afternoon and smell the fresh scent of pines trees in summer. My favorite story is a memoir of her own childhood visiting a relative in the dusty Texas Panhandle town of Hereford. Three of the stories foretell the promise of a series of novels in the works. Great work by an astute observer of the Southern scene.”
—John R. Roby
Trumpet Field and Other Stories (2001)