CD Jimmy Robinson’s latest album, Guitarworks, is almost all guitar, and it certainly all works. Almost all of the 15-track record are Robinson’s original compositions, although he borrows “Hurt” from Trent Reznor, “Little Wing” from Jimi Hendrix and “Eight Miles High” from Gene Clark, David Crosby and Roger McGuinn. The Bonerama Horns join Robinson on “Little Wing,” and Susan Cowsill, Washboard Chaz Leary, Tommy Malone and Beth Patterson join in elsewhere.

NOVEL In City of the Dead, Daniel Blake – who is actually Boris Starling, author of novels Storm and Messiah and former hostage-negotiation operative ­– takes his world-weary hero Franco Patrese from Pittsburgh, Penn., to the Big Easy, where he quickly becomes embroiled in what looks like a cult killing with connections up to the highest levels of influence. City is a no-nonsense whodunit with a hot shot of New Orleans; solid reading for the beach, porch or levee.

HIstorical Fiction Literature and writing professor Gerald Duff invokes dreams of fields in his recent Dirty Rice: A Season in the Evangeline League.
The story follows Gemar Batiste as he’s recruited into the Rayne Rice Birds from an Alabama-Coushatta reservation out of state. Batiste and his roommate, pitcher Mike Gomez, cope with low wages, league corruption and entrenched racism as they play out the 1935 season.

Literary criticism Ashley Craig Lancaster tracks down how literature, gender and politics intersected in the early 20th century in The Angelic Mother and the Predatory Seductress: Poor White Women in the Literature of the Great Depression. In the formulation that Lancaster studies, these characters – written by men and women – cleaved to these polar extremes. As such, Lancaster writes, politicians and authors alike treated these characters alternatively as symbols of hope and despair, glossing over the nuances of actual women in the process.


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