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Author(s): Padgett Powell

Location(s): South Carolina

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): 2nd half 20th century

Simons Everson Manigault (‘You say it ‘Simmons.’ I’m a rare one-m Simons”) lives with his mother, an eccentric professor (known as the Duchess), on an isolated and undeveloped strip of South Carolina coast. Convinced that her son can be a writer of genius, the Duchess has immersed Simons in the literary classics since birth (“Like some kids swat mobiles, I was to thumb pages”) and has given him free rein to gather material in such spots as the Baby Grand, a local black nightclub. (“It was an assignment. I’m supposed to write. I’m supposed get good at it.”)

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