Oliver's Goodbye to the Buttermilk Sky was first published by Black
Belt Press in 1994, then reprinted by Plume/Penguin, and chosen as a
featured selection of the Quality Paperback Book Club in 1995. The
University of Alabama Press has recently reissued Ms. Oliver's debut novel
as "A Deep South Book".
Set in the summer during the Depression, Goodbye to the Buttermilk Sky
is a story fraught with one woman's loneliness, desire, and rebellion
against society's norms.
Twenty-year-old Callie Tatum, tired of watching the boll weevil turn ruin
hopes and canning tomatoes, finds herself being drawn into a world
unimagined amongst her family and friends. With only her housekeeper for
company, Callie has an affair that leads to a tragedy forcing her to rethink
When Goodbye to the Buttermilk Sky was initially published, critics
praised the book for its "graceful writing" (Publishers Weekly) and
"storytelling" (Sandra Schofield). Hopefully, the most recent edition will
allow readers who have read Ms. Oliver's most recent novel, Music of
Falling Water, and her collection of short stories, Seventeen Times
as High as the Moon, another opportunity to read her debut novel.
Julia Oliver is an independent writer living in Montgomery, Alabama.
- Southern Scribe Reviews
© 2002 Southern Scribe
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