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 Memoir Review   

 

 

Boy with Loaded Gun: A Memoir
By Lewis Nordon
Algonquin, 2000
Hardcover, $23.95 (290 pages)
ISBN: 1565121996
 
 
 

Reminiscent of Bobbie Ann Mason's Clear Springs, Rick Bragg's All Over but the Shoutin', and all of Willie Morris, Nordan's memoir is the must-read Southern memoir of the season.  

Best known for his novels (Wolf Whistle; The Sharpshooter Blues; and Lightning Song), Nordan grew up in Itta Bena, MS. His father died while "Buddy" was quite young; his mother thought that he was an "odd child" because he was dreamy and loved television (particularly Superman) and comic books. Nordan's attraction to things outside of Itta Bena would eventually lead him to the world of mail order catalogs, Beale Street in Memphis, and smoke-filled rooms in New York City (where he heard the Beat poets and met the women of his fantasies).  

This is a memoir filled with loss--of a father, a beloved nurse, a stepfather, a son, and a marriage--as well as redemption in the form of a successful writing career and a second marriage. Nordan has wrestled with the demons of grief, infidelity, and alcoholism and tells his story with dignity, humor, and grace.

 
Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews
 

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