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Living Blue in the Red States
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Living Blue in the Red States

3.25 of 5 stars 3.25  ·  rating details  ·  16 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Political pundits never tire of reminding us of the great cultural divide between conservative “red” states and liberal “blue” ones. But common sense tells us that not all people in these states can be politically like-minded. David Starkey, a former red-state resident, wondered what politically progressive creative writers were feeling in the wake of George W. Bush’s reel ...more
Paperback, 356 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by Bison Books
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By virtue of the title alone, Living Blue in the Red States -- a collection of 21 "creative nonfiction" essays -- seems right up my alley. Here I am about the darkest blue liberal you can get but a a lifelong resident of one of the deepest red states, one which, since supporting FDR in 1936 , only voted Democrat in a presidential election in the Johnson-Goldwater race in 1964 -- and even then Goldwater got more votes than John Kennedy four years before. [return][return]Ultimately, though, the ...more
An anthology of essays that suffers from what most anthologies do: some of the essays are marvelous--gentle and contemplative or witty and thought-provoking--and some are incredibly tiresome. Overall, this particular collection appears to contain an overabundance of essays by crotchety old professors who insist upon explaining just why they are so much better than their surroundings, and poor them, look at what they sacrifice to keep a teaching job. I say "appear" because this is a harsh descrip ...more
These stories are not gripping, but they're very personal. Beyond the everyday intimacies of each essay, many of the authors couldn't help repeating each other -- not really their fault, since all twenty-one writers were primed with the same prompt -- but it did make the entire collection hard to read through straight. The sole reason I'm tempted to give the book three stars instead of two is the remarkable essay by Frank Soos, "Hauling Water," which was a standout for its humility.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

David Starkey directs the creative writing program at Santa Barbara City College.
Among his poetry collections are Starkey's Book of States (Boson Books, 2007), Adventures of the Minor Poet (Artamo Press, 2007), Ways of Being Dead: New and Selected Poems (Artamo, 2006), Da
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