Red Stick Men

Red Stick Men: Stories


Gritty short stories set in the haze of Baton Rouge, Louisiana "Headlong, funny, sharply observed, the stories of Red Stick Men are a joy to read. Tim Parrish is a splendid writer with a remarkable literary future." - Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain: Stories Like Mississippi River humidity, the sweat and the factory smoke of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pervade Tim Parrish's fiction. His characters in these nine working-class stories are by no means good-ole-boy clich's. These are blue-collar, urban southerners, trying to "do good" -- or at least to find ways of doing less damage to themselves, their co-workers, and loved ones. They are always on the verge of disasters that emanate from the hard living they endure in the city they call "Red Stick." Five of these stories follow a family from the face-to-face racial tensions of the 1960s through the distant CNN blare of the Persian Gulf War. Plotting a family's history -- the ups and downs of a Vietnam vet, a mother with lupus, and a sensitive boy striving to understand his parents and neighbors -- this quintet has the satisfying arc of a novella. Other stories light the panorama of Baton Rouge with a refinery-fire glow. In "Roustabout" a New Wave rocker joins an oil platform crew and loses his heart to a woman engineer and a male crewman. In "Smell of a Car" a pipe-supply worker tries to aid a gunshot victim and his daughter, only to find his own life is a shambles. In "After the River" wayward lovers find meaning in the midst of a catastrophic flood. The absurd complexities of life in industrial south Louisiana propel these stories. Each is connected by Parrish's unique sense of Baton Rouge as an Old South city made exotic and forbidding by its New South problems -- crack houses and handguns, layoffs and grinding wages, pollution and isolation. War, hard times, and a landscape always on the edge of apocalypse from flood and fire haunt the children and working stiffs of his stories. Parrish captures the ironic humor of people who live on oozing ground near a horizon that burns at night. His Louisiana is bizarre and beautiful, tragic and hilarious. As the writer Moira Crone says, "The whole of the book forms an expressionistic piece with a surrealistic edge. These stories just go all the way." Tim Parrish has served as a professor and director of creative writing at Southern Connecticut State University since 1994. He has been published in numerous periodicals, including New England Review, Southern Exposure, Louisiana Literature, and Shenandoah. He lived in Baton Rouge for twenty-seven years.



  • Condition: Used - Good
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
    • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
    • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Sold by: HPB Flagship
  • Seller rating:
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Univ Pr of Mississippi
  • ISBN-13: 9781578062638
  • ISBN: 1578062632
  • Publication Year: 2000


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HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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