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The Thang That Ate My Grandaddy's Dog

John Calvin Rainey

One by one the children of Gertrude and Troy Woodside have returned to Oklawaha County, Florida, with their children in tow. The extended family of descendants of founding pioneer and runaway slave Fransis Rainey is the foundation of the African-American community in and around the county seat of Eloise, and the bane of the area’s important white landowner.

One of those children’s children is Johnny, and through his eyes we are introduced to the place called Boggy, on the edge of the swamp, where he and his cousins never want for adventure—or trouble. If Johnny, Rudy, Cody Wayne, and the rest can’t find enough trouble on their own, they can always take tips from the older generation, a grab-bag of role models—some admirable, some not—whose conversations and antics run from touching to side-splittingly funny.

Every close-knit community has its secrets, and in the office of Eva Horton, one of the most powerful and influential black women in Eloise, we learn that behind the hilarity there are secrets kept and poignant revelations made. We discover that in a community seemingly divided by race, things are not always black and white.

The swamp, too, has its secrets. As Johnny and his cousins trip through their youth with extraordinary hunting dogs at their sides, their mischief can only be heading toward tragedy. The swamp teaches its lessons, using the dogs for its examples, and tragedy is the secret of the swamp. At the heart of the swamp is its biggest secret: the thang. It’s the thang that ate Johnny’s grandaddy’s dog, and it’s also the thang that will get us all if we don’t learn the lessons of our elders and their elders before them.

"This book rings with the humor and pain of ordinary life. Highly recommended for fiction and African-American collections." -- Library Journal

"This enchanting book . . . is funny, touching, and entertaining." -- Booklist

John Calvin Rainey was born in Miami and raised by his Bahamian grandmother. His stories have appeared in the Fiction Quarterly of the Tampa Tribune and placed in competitions sponsored by the Florida Freelance Writers Association. He sees his writing as a vehicle for redemption and is currently working on his second novel.

Hardbound $18.95 ISBN 1-56164-130-8 Size: 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 368 Pages

 QUANTITY   @US$ 18.95 plus $4.00 shipping

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