Jack Pendarvis

"Mississippi Noir" Editor: Tom Franklin

Aug 9, 2018

“Mississippi Noir”

Editor: Tom Franklin 

Publisher: Akashic Books

Pages: 281

Price: $15.95

In an increasingly difficult publishing environment, Akashic Books has hit upon a system for success, publishing noir collections set in most American states, many American cities and other countries and cities all over the world. Joyce Carol Oates edited “New Jersey Noir.” There is a “Zagreb Noir” and a “Prague Noir.”

Noir is definitely in vogue, but what exactly is it?

I am a fan of Jack Pendarvis's work, and believe him to be our most promising rising southern humorist. Pendarvis had some marvelous stuff in his two collections of short pieces-The Mysterious Secret of the Valuable Treasure and Your Body Is Changing. Awesome is his first novel and, although there is a lot of comic stuff, there are problems.

Southern writing is mostly not funny. Thank goodness, then, for Jack Pendarvis of Bayou La Batre, now of Atlanta, who writes funny on purpose.

Writing funny is hard. Drawing cartoons, doing impersonations, even telling jokes, spinning amusing anecdotes, are all relatively easy. But writing it down in prose in such a way that a reader, sitting alone with his magazine or newspaper, laughs or even smiles, that's an accomplishment.