FAULKNER & FRIENDS BY VICKI SALLOUM
A novel set in New Orleans (Publish date: September 2014)
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“If I didn’t know better, I’d swear there’s something in the water coming down the river that blooms good writers in New Orleans like magnolia blossoms: Faulkner, Rice, Percy, Toole, etc. And now here’s the newest one to squeeze the heart to offer up its secrets. Faulkner & Friends is a wonderful read; that it’s set in New Orleans is lagniappe.” –– --William Greenway, Ph.D., Author of Everywhere at Once and Fishing at the End of the World
“In Vicki Salloum’s brilliant New Orleans novel, Faulkner & Friends, hope is the banner that is waved against insurmountable odds, proudly, defiantly. Here, the usual tourist-friendly props are cast aside so that we may venture into the souls of the very real (if too often invisible) people that make the city what it is, their vices as tragically beautiful as their virtues. In Salloum’s soulful telling, we learn that the greatest hope of all sometimes arrives in that awkward moment where we find the courage to reach out to our sworn enemy with love and understanding. It is in this moment of realization that we see the formerly invisible thread that unites us all, at long last informing us as to why so many of us would rather live here in misery than anywhere else in mediocrity. It is rare to find an author who is able to put the joy and tragedy that exists at the heart of the City of New Orleans together into the same room, each fully aware of the other and neither ashamed of what it sees, to uncover a story that each reader must acknowledge in some way as his own. Faulkner & Friends is a joy to read, its prose as musical as its message is satisfyingly poignant. A very welcome addition to the New Orleans literary canon.” --Louis Maistros, Author of The Sound of Building Coffins and Anti-requiem: New Orleans Stories
“Faulkner & Friends is a captivating exploration of loss and the resilience of those who retain hope and faith through unimaginable tragedy. With astonishing skill and compassion Vicki Salloum weaves the stories of a writer, a bookseller, a destitute grandmother, and two troubled boys who form a bond of humanity at its core. An engrossing and unforgettable read, boldly conceived, and beautifully written.” --Bev Marshall, Author of Walking Through Shadows and Right as Rain
“Vicki Salloum’s Faulkner & Friends is a moving, heart-wrenching narrative about a group of New Orleanians whom fate has thrown together. Their lives are full of regret, and also, great love, for each other, and for the power of books and stories to heal. She writes with power about the reality of redemption and the gift of hope.” --Moira Crone, Winner of the Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction, Fellowship of Southern Writers, and Author of The Not Yet
“Faulkner & Friends captures the essence of New Orleans. It’s a story about friendship, about struggle, and what it means to experience transforming grace that allows one to let go of the past and focus on the blessings of the present. It’s both heart-breaking and heart-warming and deeply spiritual without preaching to the reader.” --Mark Gstohl, Ph.D., Head of Department of Theology, Xavier University of Louisiana, and Author of Southern Baptist Theologians and Original Sin
“In this charming new novel set in the Irish Channel neighborhood of New Orleans, an idealistic woman with a dream opens a neighborhood bookshop called Faulkner & Friends that quickly attracts more quirky characters—and trouble—than customers. Written with vivid, detailed descriptions, a good eye for New Orleans as a fertile breeding ground for eccentrics, creative talents, and troubled families, Faulkner & Friends exudes a spirit of optimism, caring, and devotion, with ample servings of earthy humor and tragic violence. Literature, friendship, and faith are treasured like fragile, lighted candles that must be nurtured and protected. Vicki Salloum understands how chance and serendipity, along with faith and grace, are powerful forces in our lives, and that it is through loyalty to friends that we are most alive.” --Mark LaFlaur, Author of Elysian Fields
“Vicki Salloum’s Faulkner & Friends is a novel that is at once both charming and tragic. Her vision of New Orleans and its denizens is so alive that it pulses and breathes. But what makes this novel worth reading and thinking about is its message of hope: hope in the written word, hope in each other, and ultimately the hope that can be drawn only from the deep well that is the lovely city of New Orleans, Louisiana.” --David Armand, Author of The Pugilist’s Wife and Harlow
VICKI SALLOUM'S BIO
Born in Gulfport, Mississippi, Vicki Salloum has lived in New Orleans for many years with her husband, Wayne Holley. Her debut novella, A Prayer to Saint Jude, was published in 2012 by Main Street Rag Publishing. Her short stories have been included in the anthologies When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple (Papier-Mache Press, 1987); Pass/Fail: 32 Stories About Teaching (Red Sky Books, 2001); and Voices From the Couch (America House, 2001). An excerpt from Faulkner & Friends appeared in the anthology Umpteen Ways of Looking at a Possum: Critical and Creative Responses to Everette Maddox (Xavier Review Press, 2006). She holds an MFA in creative writing from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
Visit Vicki Salloum's website: www.vickisalloum.com