The Ocean Was Salt
These stories flow from a most touching recount of the Civil Rights Movement ("The Darling Buds of May" set in Oxford, MS) to a completely raucous tale of academia ("Belle’s Balls"). And the subject matter ranges as widely as the tone. For instance, in "Seeing It Through," a woman diagnosed with cancer confronts and defeats her bumbling, uncaring doctor and the equally bumbling medical system in a surprisingly funny story. In "Feeling Salty," a story that Sena Naslund especially praised for its insight into father-son relations, a divorced father is confronted by his angry teenager son in a spectacular way that oddly leaves both father and son closer. Shifting locale in "Out," Cobb places two "Southern belle" friends in New York City and has them take on successive metropolitan playboys. And in a story of Alzheimer’s, "And the Word Was God," we find a surprising and magical redemption. Whatever the mood, the constant running throughout Loretta Cobb’s first collection is a Southern voice that adeptly crosses sexual, economic, and age barriers to paint a picture of the South moving from the early sixties to the present. In doing so, Loretta Cobb has used a Southern motif and setting to move beyond rationality to encompass everyone’s problems.
ISBN, trade paper: 1-931982-26-0, $14.95 Sale $7.50
ISBN, library edition: 1-931982-25-2, $25.00 Sale $12.50
Loretta Cobb is Founder and Director Emeritus of The Harbert Writing Center at the University of Montevallo. She has published academic essays and poetry, and she has done a series of travel pieces for The Birmingham News as well as a regular column for several years. A graduate with honors of the University of Montevallo and Bread Loaf School of English in Vermont, she has written corporate histories, profiles for Contemporary Novelists and has edited several published books. "Seeing It Through," in Belle’s Letters, was her first published fiction, after which she completed this collection of short stories, The Ocean Was Salt, published by Livingston Press. She is also at work on her first novel, How Can I Keep From Singing? Loretta Cobb lives in Montevallo with her novelist husband William Cobb, very near their two grandchildren. Her greatest joy in life was the birth of her daughter, Susan Meredith Smith.
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“Give it some gas, boy. Put the pedal to the
metal!” My dad yelled this through a mist of Pabst Blue Ribbon as he popped his
first one. He had pulled the grumbling Buick over to the side of the road so
that I could take the wheel, get the feel of the car on the highway and then be
the one to drive it down the smooth, slick beach. All around Daytona, cars
cruise the Atlantic coast, their racing motors competing with the crashing tide
for attention. I couldn’t wait to make that drive.