“What a Nice Surprise”—A Correspondence
Raymond Andrews (1934–1991) was born in, and grew up near, the town of Madison. After serving four years in the United States Air Force and then attending Michigan State University, he lived in New York City from 1958 to 1984. Andrews won the James Baldwin Prize for his debut novel, Appalachee Red (1978)—the first volume of his Muskhogean County trilogy that also includes Rosiebelle Lee Wildcat Tennessee (1980) and Baby Sweet’s (1983). His other books include a memoir, The Last Radio Baby (1990), and a two-novella volume, Jessie and Jesus and Cousin Claire (1991). Andrews returned to Georgia from New York in 1984, living just outside of Athens until he took his own life in 1991. The Fall 2010 issue of The Georgia Review includes a major feature on his work. (Inducted in 2009)
Gary Gildner has contributed to The Georgia Review numerous poems and stories, four essays, a book review, and an exchange of letters with the late novelist Raymond Andrews. His latest collection of poems is Cleaning a Rainbow (BkMk Press, 2007); his latest collection of stories is The Capital of Kansas City (BkMk Press, 2016). He has received Pushcart Prizes in fiction and nonfiction, and the Iowa Poetry Prize for The Bunker in the Parsley Fields (University of Iowa Press). Gildner and his wife Michele live in the Clearwater Mountains of Idaho and in the foothills of Arizona’s Santa Catalina Mountains.