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About Anthony Grooms
Anthony Grooms teaches fiction writing, literature, and American Studies, and directs the M. A. in Professional Writing program at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Also, he has taught in Ghana and Sweden, and lectured in Morocco and the U.A.E. His fiction, poetry and essays have been published in numerous journals and anthologies in the U.S. and abroad. His novel Bombingham, set against the Civil Rights Movement, is often taught in high schools and colleges. It was a Washington Post notable book and was chosen as a city-wide common read for D. C. The critical edition of Trouble No More: Stories can be found as an e-book, and another novel, The Vain Conversation is forthcoming. Grooms has twice won the Lillian Smith Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the Hurston-Wright Foundation award. He holds fellowships from Yaddo, Bread Loaf, the National Endowment for the Arts and Fulbright. For more information follow him on Facebook or go to anthonygrooms.com.
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"Atlanta has its share, maybe more than its share, of prosperity. But wealth is no safeguard against peril...Creepy as well as dark, grim in outlook...Hints of the supernatural may make these tales...appealing to lovers of ghost stories."
"These stories, most of them by relative unknowns, offer plenty of human interest...All the tales have a Southern feel."
"Jones, author of Leaving Atlanta, returns to the South via Akashic's ever-growing city anthology series. The collection features stories from an impressive roster of talent including Jim Grimsley, Sheri Joseph, Gillian Royes, Anthony Grooms and David James Poissant. The 14 selections each take place in different Atlanta neighborhood."
"Now comes Atlanta Noir, an anthology that masterfully blends a chorus of voices, both familiar and new, from every corner of Atlanta...The magic of Atlanta Noir is readily apparent, starting with the introduction Jones pens. It doesn’t rest solely upon the breadth of writers but on how their words, stories and references are so Atlanta--so very particular, so very familiar and so very readily, for those who know the city, nostalgic. And for those who don’t? The sense of place it captures inspires a desire to get to know Atlanta and its stories."
Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city. This much-anticipated and long-overdue installment in Akashic's Noir Series reveals many sides of Atlanta known only to its residents.
Brand-new stories by: Tananarive Due, Kenji Jasper, Tayari Jones, Dallas Hudgens, Jim Grimsley, Brandon Massey, Jennifer Harlow, Sheri Joseph, Alesia Parker, Gillian Royes, Anthony Grooms, John Holman, Daniel Black, and David James Poissant.
From the introduction by Tayari Jones:
Atlanta itself is a crime scene. After all, Georgia was founded as a de facto penal colony and in 1864, Sherman burned the city to the ground. We might argue about whether the arson was the crime or the response to the crime, but this is indisputable: Atlanta is a city sewn from the ashes and everything that grows here is at once fertilized and corrupted by the past...
These stories do not necessarily conform to the traditional expectations of noir...However, they all share the quality of exposing the rot underneath the scent of magnolia and pine. Noir, in my opinion, is more a question of tone than content. The moral universe of the story is as significant as the physical space. Noir is a realm where the good guys seldom win; perhaps they hardly exist at all. Few bad deeds go unrewarded, and good intentions are not the road to hell, but are hell itself...Welcome to Atlanta Noir. Come sit on the veranda, or the terrace of a high-rise condo. Pour yourself a glass of sweet tea, and fortify it with a slug of bourbon. Put your feet up.
Inspired by true events, The Vain Conversation reflects on the 1946 lynching of two black couples in Georgia from the perspectives of three characters—Bertrand Johnson, one of the victims; Noland Jacks, a presumed perpetrator; and Lonnie Henson, a witness to the murders as a ten-year-old boy. Lonnie's inexplicable feelings of culpability drive him in a search for meaning that takes him around the world, and ultimately back to Georgia, where he must confront Jacks and his own demons, with the hopes that doing so will free him from the grip of the past.
In The Vain Conversation, Anthony Grooms seeks to advance the national dialogue on race relations. With complexity, satire, and sometimes levity, he explores what it means to redeem, as well as to be redeemed, on the issues of America's race violence and speaks to the broader issues of oppression and violence everywhere.
A foreword is provided by American poet, painter, and novelist Clarence Major. An afterward is written by T. Geronimo Johnson, the bestselling author of Welcome to Braggsville and Hold It 'Til It Hurts.