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 Literary Classics Review    

 

 

Lives of the Saints
Nancy Lemann
Voices of the South series
L.S.U. Press, 1997 reprint
Trade paper, $13.95 (144 pages)
ISBN: 0-8071-2162-2
 
Sportsman's Paradise
Nancy Lemann
Voices of the South series
L.S.U. Press, 1999 reprint
Trade paper, $15.95 (225 pages)
ISBN: 0-8071-2417-6
 
 
 

LSU's "Voices of the South" provides a terrific service for Southern readers, writers, and literature. All too often, early novels by authors are out of print by the time the average readers "discovers" them. Nancy Lemann is a prime example. MALAISE, her third novel and fourth book, garnered excellent reviews and was named "A New York Times Notable Book." Hopefully, readers will want to take a look at her earlier and equally good novels, LIVES OF THE SAINTS and SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE. 

LIVES OF THE SAINTS takes Lemann's native New Orleans as its setting. Louise Brown has returned to her hometown after four years of college in New England. The experience has left her with some wry commentaries on Yankees, a longing for home, and an even more desperate longing for Claude. Theirs is a combustible relationship. 

SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE, set in Long Island, features a group of displaced Southerners "summering." Ostensibly a novel of manners, the story compares and contrasts the differences between the Southerners and their Yankee neighbors with the darkness in the Southern attitudes providing a perfect compliment to the uncomplicated Yankee view of fun. 

All three of Lemann's novels -- LIVES OF THE SAINTS, SPORTMAN'S PARADISE, and MALAISE -- have languid settings allowing the sense of heat and inertia to become characters in their own right. 

Nancy Lemann currently lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her husband and two daughters. She's written for THE NEW REPUBLIC, ESQUIRE, and PARIS REVIEW. Her work of non-fiction, THE RITE Of THE BAYOU, is an account of the trials of Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards.

 

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

 

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