COME BACK, LOLLY RAY by Beverly Lowry


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Who's to explain the leasehold on talent of the southern regional writer except that it surfaces from some echo chamber of the past to make the present that much more real. Even if everyone who lives in Eunola, Mississippi, ""lit by a sliver of moon as thin as a fingernail paring,"" hangs on to a dream of changelessness. It is all sparklingly epitomized by Lolly Ray, an incomparable baton twirler--no one will see her likes again--Lolly living in a trailer with her mother, who's withdrawn behind a veil of soap operas. Or how about Lady, mother of the first family's last scion, Lady who found another way out--sipping her life away in a golden haze. After all not much goes on in Eunola: how much could go on with all those tacit restrictions? That's why the man who became a ""nigger lawyer"" finally hung himself from his ceiling fan. But old Granny Peavey survives tenaciously with her dogs, crotcheting, spitting, and swearing. While Rose goes about her salutary business making foundations to realign all the local breasts and scrota. Of course no one knew about Lt. Blue who drifted through town and managed to twirl his baton with Lolly in the local graveyard so that when she came back for Homecoming night, she was very pregnant. And no one could stop the encroachment of that other world when a power and light company moved in and moved out all the headstones in the cemetery. Cavil if you will that the structure here is patchy, that you've lost your way too often in places like Eunola, Mississippi; but how many real writers are there who can create a whole world and contain it within the palm of a talented hand.

Pub Date: Feb. 4th, 1976
Publisher: Doubleday