Southern souvenirs

Southern souvenirs

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Sara Haardt's character sketches, short stories, and essays were published regularly in the leading literary and popular magazines of the 1920s and 1930s. But today she is remembered best as the wife of H. L. Mencken. Southern Souvenirs, which brings together prize-winning and previously unpublished work, reintroduces her work to scholar and general reader alike, restoring her place in the pantheon of southern letters. Haardt's biography alone, detailed poignantly in Ann Henley's introduction, makes for fascinating reading. Born into an upper-middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama, Haardt attended a progressive local school where she received the kind of college prep education typically reserved for boys. She qescapedq the South to Goucher College in Baltimore, returning only occasionally and briefly. Haardt and Mencken's meeting at Goucher sparked a long relationship between the two, first as mentor and student, then as romantic partners, and finally as one of the nation's most celebrated husband-and-wife teams. Although Haardt had struggled with poor health throughout her life, before her untimely death of tuberculosis in 1935, she had published widely in such magazines and journals as The Reviewer, Mencken's The Smart Set, Atlantic Monthly, Bookman, and Harper's Bazaar. Her story qAbsolutely Perfectq was among the O. Henry Prize stories for 1933; qLittle White Girlq was included in Best Short Stories of 1935. Those stories appear here alongside others Haardt had planned to collect, and in the order she had devised, with a few exceptions and additions outlined by Henley in her introduction. Haardt's works richly evoke past southern landscapes and family life as they painttrenchant portraits of adolescent girls and women. Those traits, along with Haardt's perpetual conflict with her own southernness, lead Henley to place Haardt as a precursor to such writers as Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, and, more recently, Alice Walker and Lee Smith.Only the most popular debutantes in Verbena ever got to Phoenix Club dances. What did the crowd expect? In the dressing-room the older girls clustered around her, purring softly: aquot;How do you keep your flowers so fresh? Arena#39;t those liliesanbsp;...

Title:Southern souvenirs
Author: Sara Haardt, Ann Henley
Publisher:University Alabama Press - 1999-07

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