This has been an amazing year for me, and one of the reasons is independent bookstores. Their support for my fiction debut — Accidental Birds of the Carolinas — has been nothing short of heartwarming!
Bookstores in the Southeast have made it a staff pick, written nifty little reviews on small paper tags, and placed it in the hands of my amazing readers, whose fan letters read like love letters. Here are just a few:
Now that things have calmed down here, I’ve had a chance to begin reading your stories. I was mightily impressed by “Accidental Birds” and “The Clearing,” but last night I read “Rapture” and was completely blown away. This is a remarkable collection. With collections like these, Press 53 will soon have the prestige of Knopf or Algonquin, and you’ll be the one who made it happen. –Ellyn Bache, author
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book! Hudson has absolutely captured the Carolina I first encountered and fell in love with back in the day. I wish I had the writer’s vocabulary to describe my feelings about the stories, but for now I will just say that they are resonating with me in a marvelous way. I know when I finish I will be wanting more!—Jennifer Gillis, librarian
Today I took myself to lunch with Enoe-Will from the Haw Tribe to reread his story, New World Testament. Another day this week, in a long and lonely hour out in the world, I read a different episode in Accidental Birds. Little does Marjorie Hudson know, her characters are my companions and their stories my songs, woven in and out of my life. I salute her and her friend W Whitman, ‘up from the mystic play of shadow’. — Sharon Blessum
There’s been wonderful media attention—TV and public radio interviews, magazine features and journal reviews—and the title story was instrumental in garnering me a coveted North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship. Whew!
Now, the best news of all, it has been nominated for a SIBA Fiction Award!
Sarah Goddin at Quail Ridge Books says in her nomination:
This is an amazing collection of short stories which really capture the essence of the South and the experience of people transplanted here, accidentally or on purpose. A book of national importance and quality published by a very small southern press.
Thank you, Sarah, and all my readers and indie bookstore friends! Please light a candle for this little boat as it floats into the bigger current–and if you have a favorite indie bookseller, please ask them to vote for Accidental Birds!