Monday, March 10, 2014

The House on Prytania, by Pat Carr

Watch for the new short story collection by Pat Carr.
The House on Prytania's release date is March 25, 2014.
Pat's stories are hauntingly beautiful, and written with a pen that only she possesses. We guarantee you won't be able to put this one down. It will be available in bookstores and on Amazon or you can  order directly through High Hill. Check out Pat's website to find her schedule and see titles for her other books. One of our favorites is an award winning collection of Civil War stories titled
Death of a Confederate Colonel.
 Below is an excerpt from the title story in this wonderful collection, The House on Prytania.
Mrs. Parrish wasn’t my mother, and that was probably why I could see it and Lily couldn’t.
Or so I thought at the time.
It was only later I understood that perhaps Lily had been aware and that even Mr. Parrish may have pretended he hadn’t noticed. He always made conventional—stiff and meaningless—remarks, beaming, as if it was entirely logical to come home at two in the afternoon to find us, Lily and me and Mrs. Parrish in the kitchen around the big oak table, laughing and joking with Armond.
I’d known, even at eleven, that my mother wouldn’t have sat in any room with Armond. Not that she was prejudiced. She always pointedly showed her Garden District listings to black professionals when other agents in her office refused or feigned too busy a schedule. It was just that she couldn’t have thought of anything to say to her gardener- carpenter after she’d decided what shade of maroon she wanted the gutters painted or where she wanted the flat of peonies bedded. She hired workmen for competent jobs, and if Armond had been her handyman, she’d have expected him to change the light fixtures and caulk the tub before she got home. I couldn’t imagine her hovering at the foot of a ladder, bracing the toolbox or dispensing screw-drivers as he needed them.
Which may have been what gave me the first, not-quite-conscious clue.
“You’ve been working here how long?” I asked him one afternoon. I wouldn’t have been that brash with any other adult, but this was Armond, and we were sitting at the table while Mrs. Parrish fried beignets for the four of us.
“Let’s see, how long, Eva?” He looked at Mrs. Parrish. “Since I was seventeen or eighteen I guess. Since Lily must’ve been about two.”
He seemed older than twenty-six, with silver coiling like fine sterling wire through his black sideburns and an incisor replaced and glinting old-man-gold when he laughed.
Watch for more after March 25th.

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