Rattlesnakes & The Moon
Stories by Darlin' Neal
8.5 x 5.5 paperback
Praise for Rattlesnakes & The Moon
“These are dark stories lit by headlights and lightning, fluorescent signs and tall highway lights, tough stories so real that they have the scent of the lived-through about them, which is testament to Darlin’ Neal’s extraordinary gift for prose and story.”
— Frederick Barthelme, editor of Mississippi Review and author of Waveland
“Darlin' Neal's book of stories is the literary equivalent of a Lucinda Williams music album: achingly lovely homages to heartbreak and hard times, sung by a voice rich with whiskey, soaked in insight. An absolutely stellar performance.”
— Antonya Nelson, author of Nothing Right: Short Stories
"A collection as gritty, sharp and luminous as a Walker Evans photograph. Darlin' Neal has found the passion and the poetry in lives that might at first glance seem ordinary. A really beautiful debut."
— Kevin Canty, author of Everything: a Novel and Where the Money Went: Stories
A.D. Anat grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a self-taught photographer who finds inspiration in the works of Ansel Adams, Michael Levin, and Kristen Wood, to name a few. “Moon Road” is his first published photograph.
A.D. states: “‘Moon Road’ was taken in the Valley of Fire State Park just north of Las Vegas, which is part of the Moapa Indian Reservation. I consider this photo ‘a shot in the dark.’ Not only had the sun already set behind the mountains, but this was a last ditch effort to try and get something good out of a disappointing trip, which I made to try and get some images of the largest moon of 2009. I used the headlights of my vehicle to illuminate the foreground and maybe some of the distant ones as well. Since it was a bit dim, I used a longer shutter speed in an attempt to get a decent exposure of the whole scene. I set up my equipment in the middle of the road; at this time it would seem that we were the last ones in the area, so standing there was not such a big problem. Because it was a last ditch effort, I would have tolerated the oncoming traffic. I guess it is true that desperate times call for desperate measures.”
DARLIN’ NEAL is a native Mississippian who spent her childhood traveling New Mexico and attending 13 different grade schools. After completing degrees in Psychology, Journalism and English at New Mexico State, she left Las Cruces and headed for Tucson. Upon finishing her MFA at the University of Arizona, she returned to Mississippi in search of her roots. In 2001 she completed a PhD at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers.
Among her awards are a fiction fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a Henfield Transatlantic Award, New Mexico State University’s Frank Waters Fiction Fellowship, and the Joan Johnson Award from the Center for Writers. Her work has appeared in The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Puerto del Sol, Smokelong Quarterly, Eleven Eleven, The Rio Grande Review, and dozens of other magazines. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous anthologies including the Best of The Web 2009 and Online Writing: The Best of The First Ten Years. She holds an assistant professorship in the MFA program at The University of Central Florida.
In the past, she taught writing at The University of Arizona, The University of Southern Mississippi, Ole Miss, James Madison University, Clemson, Mississippi Valley State, at Half Moon Bay, and in Holly Springs and Grenada, Mississippi, the last two as a writer in residence for the Mississippi Arts Commission and NEA’s All Write program for literacy, a program begun by the late poet Aleda Shirley.
She lives in Orlando and Jensen Beach, Florida with a calico named Maggie, her guy and a dog named Catfish.
Press 53 . PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0314
Flash Fiction & Stories by Darlin' Neal
8.5 x 5.5 paperback
“Just as the title Elegant Punk promises, this is a collection full of contrasts, surprises, and strange revelations. Embedded in the gritty realism, there is poetry of the highest order, and grace is splashed all over the commonplace. High passion, silliness, cosmic shifts, and acute psychological insights are rendered up in Darlin’ Neal’s prose so seamlessly and intensely she makes it look easy. You won’t forget these characters, and there’s not a story here you won’t want to finish after you’ve read its first sentence.”
— Laura Kasischke, author of The Raising: A Novel
“Darlin' Neal's stories mostly come to us in pieces—shards and splinters: people angry, dispossessed, struggling in the badlands and swampy climes at the margins of an America gone soulless and mean. Yet hers is a prose both lyrical and smart, no small triumph given what's galvanized her attention. Do yourself a favor: You'll be better off for having these tales between your ears.”
— Lee K. Abbott, author of All Things, All at Once: New and Selected Stories
“If Raymond Carver had lived to write flash fiction, he might have written something a lot like Elegant Punk. Neal's stories are little starbursts of ferocity and heartache. Just when you think you have to look away, they make you laugh a bit, make you cock your head with intrigue, and draw you right back in. Taken together, these tales, like much of Carver's work, convince the reader there's no amount of punishment that the human spirit, plucky thing, cannot withstand.
— Ron Currie author of Everything Matters!: A Novel
Cover artist Ashley Inguanta is a Florida-based writer/photographer. Her work has appeared in Redivider, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Sweet: A Literary Confection, among other journals. Ashley is also director of Maitland Poets & Writers, a program that promotes literary arts in Central Florida, and she is a staff editor at SmokeLong QuarterlyLast year, she earned an honorable mention in Glimmer Train for their Very Short Fiction award. Keep up to date with her publications and travels at ashleyinguanta.com.