Brambleman gets notice in UGA Alumni blog

If you haven’t seen this, it’s news to you. Go Dawgs! From the UGA Alumni Blog: Alumnus earns award for thriller based on Forsyth County Congratulations to Jonathan Grant (AB ’76) who recently received the Gold Benjamin Franklin Award for popular fiction from the Independent Book Publishers Association. His book, Brambleman, was honored for its excellence in editorial and design. The Benjamin Franklin Awards are considered one of the the highest national honors for small presses and independent publishers. Brambleman is the story of an Atlanta writer, Charlie Sherman, who is tasked with finishing a dead professor’s book about the mob-driven expulsion of nearly 1,000 African Americans from Forsyth County, Georgia, in 1912. The story takes a wild turn when Charlie thinks he…

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Happy Fourth of July from Varmintville!

Here’s a brief Independence Day excerpt from the award-winning novel, Brambleman. This  paragraph helps explain how the madness started: And so Pappy just kept rockin’ and spittin’ and gettin’ more ornery. The last time Charlie had been in Forsyth County, exactly two decades after his first visit, he and Momo got into an argument over flying the Rebel flag on the Fourth of July. Charlie, who had come to resent even being at Pappy’s house, saw the flag as an insult to the United States as well as his liberal Yankee world view. After Momo threatened to kill him with his bare hands, the old man called Charlie a “n****r-loving cocksucker” and ordered him to get off the property. Armed with his…

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Attorney, witness clash in George Zimmerman trial

From the Associated Press, via ajc.com: SANFORD, Fla. — In testy exchanges, George Zimmerman’s defense attorney insinuated that the young woman who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin shortly before he was fatally shot was not believable because of inconsistencies in her story. But 19-year-old Rachel Jeantel held firm in her testimony about what she heard over the phone while talking with Martin the night the unarmed teen was shot and killed by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. read more.  

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Legendary singer Bobby “Blue” Bland passes

RIP Blues legend Bobby “Blue” Bland, who died Sunday at age 83. From The Washington Post: GRENADA, Miss. — Bobby “Blue” Bland, a distinguished singer who blended Southern blues and soul in songs such as “Turn on Your Love Light” and “Further On Up the Road,” died Sunday. He was 83. Rodd Bland said his father died due to complications from an ongoing illness at his Memphis, Tenn., home. He was surrounded by relatives. Bland was known as the “the Sinatra of the blues” and was heavily influenced by Nat King Cole, often recording with lavish arrangements to accompany his smooth vocals. He even openly imitated Frank Sinatra on the “Two Steps From the Blues” album cover, standing in front of a…

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Tales from Varmintville: Pulaskipalooza!

  Or, why does Charlie Sherman think Pulaski, Tennessee sits atop the mouth of Hell? Check out this excerpt from Brambleman, winner of the 2013 Benjamin Franklin Award for popular fiction. It it, Charlie Sherman discovers the root of some evil. From Chapter Thirteen of Brambleman, a novel by Jonathan Grant (all rights reserved): * * * Isaac Cutchins’s parents had come to Forsyth County from Pulaski, Tennessee. This Charlie knew because Susan’s Bible told him so, and being a border-state Yankee, Charlie never forgot it, since Pulaski was the birthplace of the original Ku Klux Klan—the terrorist arm of the Southern Democratic Party during Reconstruction. When Charlie thought of Momo’s monster truck, Nathan Bedford Forrest, he realized that it was only…

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A review and dialogue with Dr. Louie Crew

An old friend posted his review of Brambleman on my facebook timeline, and I wanted to memorialize it on Brambleman’s website before it was carried down the river and disappeared.  Dr. Louie Crew is an emeritus professor of English Literature at Rutgers University. A prominent voice for reform in the Episcopal Church, Louie was and is a crusader for LGBT rights—from back in the days of Easy Rider in the Deep South! The Review I just finished Jonathan Grant’s novel, Brambleman and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a sustained, up-close, and dramatic look at racists, especially those in Forsyth County, Georgia, as well as a look at a few community organizers in greater Atlanta and their difficulties in opposing it. Narrator Charlie Sherman…

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