Raymond L. Atkins resides in Rome, Georgia, USA where he is an instructor of English at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. Author of four novels, his first, Front Porch Prophet, won the 2008 Georgia Author of the Year Award for First Novel. His third novel, Camp Redemption, was awarded the Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction and the 2014 Georgia Author of the Year Award for Fiction. His fourth novel, Sweetwater Blues, is a Townsend Prize nominee.
In a world polluted with bad news, shallow sound bites, sadness, and terror, South of the Etowah is a breath of fresh air. Each story has that down home Southern texture so typical of Atkins' books, but here we get to meet him in the intimate worlds of his marriage and family life, where we experience his compassion, integrity, and his imaginative and humorous twists on the day to day. I enjoyed with out-loudlaughterevery chapter of this book and the last one touched me with tears, as well. Read it. You'll be a better person for having met him in this way. --Catherine McCall is the author of the international best-selling memoir, Never Tell This is a man's book but it made this girl laugh out loud. From stories about an old house, hound dogs, old cars, raising kids, living in the South and visiting the North, Raymond Atkins found humor, and at times wisdom. Each chapter stands on it's own, but they flow together to paint a picture of a life well lived. Men will relate to the author's observations and understand perfectly. Wives will suspect their husbands consulted Atkins a little too often. You'll want to read it a couple of chapters at a time to make it last. South of the Etowah has a permanent spot on our bookshelf.--Holly Sullivan McClure, author of ConjurorReading these essays is like rocking on a porch with your best friend. Raymond Atkins knows what you are going through--he's been there himself, and he's ready--in inimitable Atkins style--to make you laugh about it. With lucid prose and disarming charisma, South of the Etowah exposes the ironies of marriage, parenthood, pet-ownership, car-ownership, and life-in-general in Southern culture.--Melanie Sumner, author of the novel, How to Write a NovelRaymond Atkins is a gentleman and a scholar, and he also happens to speak Southern. With his signature dry wit, he riffs on parenting, marriage, the perils of old house and hound dog ownership, and how he sees this crazy world we live in. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll have a lot more fun reading South of the Etowah than Atkins had going to Les Miz.--Sally Kilpatrick, author of The Happy Hour ChoirFrom back porches to lonely prison cells, celebrated raconteur, Raymond Atkins, has captured the imaginations of readers with his hearty, revealing, and often tender storytelling. This collection of essays casts Atkins, and the South itself, as its main characters. Atkins has tucked the reader inside his breast pocket, inviting them along for a romp through his experiences in the region so close to his heart--a love letter to his home.--Kimberly Brock, author of the award-winning novel, The River WitchSimply put, Raymond Atkins is an insightful and funny storyteller. Whether talking about nicknames, dogs, or home remedies, few people can capture Southern life with his level of cleverness and hilarity. In South of the Etowah, Atkins quickly draws you in to the familiar settings of everyday life and then takes you on a whimsical ride. This sharply written collection of essays is brilliantly witty, occasionally humbling, and addictively entertaining. I just couldn't put it down!--Jeff High, award-winning author of the Watervalley Books Series