In the best tradition of southern storytelling, Uke Rivers Delivers features raconteurs as beguiling as the tales they tell. These lyrical, darkly humorous monologues portray a range of denizens of the American South desperately trying to come to grips with their inherited pasts. A Confederate reenactor receives a message from the beyond to lay to rest the remains of Stonewall Jackson's horse. A docent at Washington and Lee University's Lee Chapel offers prim instruction on the facts and legends about "the General" with both reverence and irony. The young son of a lewd, alcoholic, self-dubbed evangelist acquires the wits—and the will—for survival by protecting the family's sunflower crops. A midget ukulele virtuoso is so surprised by his own eruption into violence that he can attribute it only to genetics. One of Jeff Davis's fellow cross-dressers; the killer of John Wilkes Booth; a Rebel deserter whose superior exacts his pound of flesh—all these characters and more, through their twisted and torn vernaculars, seek understanding and revival in R. T. Smith's superb collection.
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