"My son Amos IV finished his M.A. in creative writing at UAB in 2011, and a copy of his thesis, a collection of three short stories, is held at Sterne along with all theses and dissertations done at the university. The library's catalog record for "Nobody Knows How It Got This Good" can be found here. Maybe one day Sterne will be able to buy a more formally published version."
After more than a year of anticipation since manuscript acceptance, my son Amos' collection of short stories has finally been published by Livingston Press at the University of West Alabama. The blurb on the publisher's web site notes,
"Drawing heavily on the author's experiences growing up in Central Alabama, Nobody Knows How It Got This Good explores themes of racial injustice, class, the Civil Rights Movement, environmental catastrophe, imprisonment, suburbanization, and the perennial themes of love, life and loss.
Through sixteen stories sharing common environments and characters – a used car salesman, a cook on death row, a lynching survivor, a U.S. Census enumerator – Nobody Knows How It Got This Good, the author’s first short story collection, attempts to come to terms with the modern South. Though set in the Deep South, these stories aspire with humor and pathos to address national dilemmas."
The stories are set in the Birmingham area, and follow these characters as they move their own personal damaged landscapes in a place as problematic as Alabama and the "Magic City". Serious and funny combine in unexpected ways in this collection.
The book is available from various independent bookstores and libraries around the country, and online from Small Press Distribution, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million. The book has been reviewed by Kirkus Reviews and New Southern Fugitives. The Louisiana Book News blog has recently picked son Amos’ new collection of stories set in the #Birmingham #Alabama area for its list of “Exciting new releases by Louisiana authors”.
Amos was interviewed about the book by Alina Stefanescu of the Alabama Writers Conclave. Deep South Magazine published a "cover reveal" back in February. The cover photo was taken by William Widmer and the cover design is by Paul Halupka.
His fiction and poems have appeared in Arcadia, Birmingham Arts Journal, Clarion, Fieldstone Review, Folio, Grain Magazine, Gravel, The Hollins Critic, Interim, New Ohio Review, New Orleans Review, Off the Coast, Pale Horse Review, Roanoke Review, Salamander, Tacenda Literary Magazine, Union Station Magazine, Yes, Poetry and Zouch.
After years living in Boston and Lafayette and Baton Rouge, he now lives and works in New Orleans. His author website can be found at www.amosjasperwright.com
Alabama has produced a number of short story authors, including Truman Capote and Mary Ward Brown. I'm proud to see Amos join such distinguished company!