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Fiction Review    

The Camellia City
By Phillip Routh
XLibris, 2000
$21.99 (256p)
ISBN: 0-7388-4577-9

Morgan Baines, author of Burning Bridges, hasn't had a literary success in fifteen years. He has managed to have a literary life of sorts -- he teaches Creative Writing at the university level and he's invited to give workshops in the summer. While he earns a living, Morgan no longer has time for his own work. 

Adding insult to injury, his ex-wife Beth, has published an existential thriller filled with southern California ennui. 

His goal this summer is to attend the Moorehead University conference and meet the larger than life novelist Stuart Kramer. Morgan's magical thinking leads him to believe the only thing standing between himself and great literary success is a blurb from THE Stuart Kramer. Unfortunately, nothing goes according to plan. 

Reminiscent of Richard Russo's The Straight Man and James Hynes' Publish or Perish, Phillip Routh's The Camellia City is a wickedly funny send-up of writers' conferences and the writing life. 

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

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