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South Main Stories By Robert McGowan
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These stories are derived of the author’s ten-year struggle (1982-1991) on behalf of the endangered South Main Street Historic District in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. The photographs are from... More > a 1986 series of gelatin silver photos taken by McGowan in and near the district. The stories focus in large measure on confrontations with inept and visionless city agencies and arts funding groups and the frustrations inherent in seeking to work with such entities toward district revitalization. Memphis’ South Main Street Historic District, once neglected and deteriorating, much of it on the verge of demotion, is now, two or three decades later, a thriving, energetic mixed commercial/residential neighborhood with a distinctive arts vitality. SOUTH MAIN STORIES conveys to the reader what it can be like for a neighborhood to make that transition and will therefore be of relevance to any adventurous and determined individuals involved in such an effort. SOUTH MAIN STORIES is designed by the artist Terri J. Jones.< Less
Nam By Robert McGowan
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Derived of the author’s Vietnam War experience, the thirty-seven stories in this sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious collection look back at the Vietnam War from a distance of forty or... More > more years, nearly a half-century, and via the perspectives of not only the soldiers themselves, but also their children, spouses, siblings, parents, friends. Nothing comparable to this collection exists within the literature growing out of the Vietnam War. NAM is hardly just another batch of macho war stories. These short fictions, most of them memoir-based, neither glorify nor even excuse war but come forward instead as eloquent testament to the tragic lunacy of it.< Less