Author Captures Spirit of South in Short Stories

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Perrin Cothran Conrad writes a new collection of Southern Gothic fiction

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The American south has a rich tapestry of history and natural beauty. In The Ballad of the Shirley T and Other Stories (published by iUniverse), author Perrin Cothran Conrad gives a face to modern day struggles which threaten that tapestry. Conrad’s depth of feeling for her fellow man translates into attention-gripping slices of life. Levity is also present in a few of the stories, as Conrad’s wit has been compared to that of Flannery O’Connor.

The Ballad of the Shirley T and Other Stories offers snapshots of various walks of life in the South, from the elderly basket maker being forced from her home to the haughty corporate ladder climbers looking for love in all the wrong places. Robin O’Bryant, author of Ketchup is a Vegetable and Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves, says, “Perrin Conrad’s stories make me long for the Lowcountry. Her descriptions are so vivid, I can almost feel the sea breeze in my hair and smell the salt in the water.”

Excerpt from the story “The Ballad of the Shirley T”:

Henry heaved himself over the side of his shrimp boat onto the deck. Alfred, his striker, would be along shortly. Tide was low, and a gentle zephyr blew at about ten knots. Henry thought he heard a gator slink through the crackly marsh grass on the other bank and scratched his chin. Once the color of a milky chocolate bar, his skin now matched the dry ash of the oyster pit in his front yard. He heard Alfred’s quick footsteps on the dock. “’Bout time, you old fool,” Henry said as Alfred clomped into the boat in his white rubber boots.”

“Who you callin’ a fool? You the one got people after you.” Diesel fumes rolled over the dark river, and they shoved off.

Each of Conrad’s stories holds the central theme that who people are on the inside determines outcomes of their circumstances. “There is more to life than possessions or status,” she says. “Looking to money, revenge or even other people will not solve the troubles within our souls. My characters who look to faith and perseverance are the ones whose futures hold hope.”

About the Author
Perrin Cothran Conrad has lived in the South Carolina Lowcountry for most of her life. Holding a B.A. in English literature/creative writing from Agnes Scott College and a J.D. from Campbell University, she left the practice of law to pursue her passions: writing fiction and being a stay-at-home mom. She lives in Summerville, South Carolina with her husband and son. Conrad is also the author of A Quiet Cup of Tea.

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader’s Choice, Rising Star and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniversebooks on Twitter.


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