Spit of a Minute

| October 1, 2013

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Spit of a Minute

In 1928 a fourteen year old girl is playing with a litter of kittens in a tobacco barn. Her aging parents have already slipped into a great depression of their own. Her brothers named her ‘Queenie’ and it stuck. Queenie steps from the barn to welcome a man from a neighboring farm. A frustrated man drunk on corn liquor and rage.

Three children, an alcoholic husband and a monkey later, she’s living in the city and struggling to keep a clean house and beans on the stove when the “Eye-talian” pilot from New York City asks her opinion on fryer hens in the grocery. He’s smooth. He takes her to places with white table cloths
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World War II deploys the pilot to Europe and Queenie to the Big Apple. Survival on the streets of NYC for Queenie and her baby girl, Abba Gee, is a war story of another kind.

Queenie makes decisions without options. Her’s is a story of what can happen to any of us if we are not paying attention.

“Told from a Southern point of view, funny, sad, and partially true. Queenie is the grandmother I did not know. A lifetime of rumors and over heard gossip painted this character. Others speak of grandmothers who smelled of talcum powder and passed on receipes while Queenie’s legacy echos stories of grit and how life can change in the Spit of a Minute.”

“Dickson’s language is palpably evocative of the period–you could vividly imagine the scenes in sepia, peopled by those long-ago characters that now only exist as memory.”

“Dickson writes with a relaxed, leisurely cadence with confidence in her own literary powers. She effectively simulates the feel and mood of the South, as well as the hustle and bustle of the city–something about the writing, not the plot, that reminds me so much of Harper Lee’s classic `To Kill a Mockingbird.’

“Dickson’s compelling narrative subtly shifts in tone and texture according to the changes in time, and this is one of the qualities in her writing that makes me hope she actually writes more, and soon.”

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