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Delta Pearls won the 2007 William Rockhill Nelson Award in fiction. Margot Livesey, noted fiction writer and writer in residence at Emerson College, judged the fiction category. She stated that Jones' stories "had a hard-edged tenderness and a feeling for the past that I found both moving and engaging."
Written by Judith Bader Jones, Delta Pearls is an anthology of very brief stories—most only a few pages long—set in the Missouri Delta. Ordinary men and women facing challenges from poverty, racism, loss, and their own personal demons populate the pages, and Jones' capture of the Missouri Delta dialogue, as well as Southern culture, atmosphere, and daily life, is exquisite. A treasury of prose gems to savor one at a time or all at once. Midwest Review
Jones views life through a positive lens--an unusual posture in our overly ironic, even cynical age. Through the course of the collection, we discern that this nonjudgmental view of life fits her interpretation of the mid-century period and the resilience of her characters--farm and small town folk, dealing with material losses and spiritual gains, while the Great River rolls by. Catherine Browder "Tales from Missouri Bayou Country," New Letters 73.3, 159. (visit www.newletters.org)
The people of Delta Pearls are as real as members of your own family, as thoroughly fascinating as only real people can be. The author . . . gently reminds us that even the worst of us has redeeming qualities, even the best of us carries sins we'd prefer buried. Judith Bader Jones is a master storyteller and this is an eloquent collection of her work. --Jacqueline Guidry, author of The Year the Colored Sisters Came to Town
Delta Pearls is a quiet jewel, rich with a lyrical magic . . . these stories sink into you, rich, sweet, and true. They beguile your spirit and fill your heart. --Deborah Shouse, author, editor and motivational speaker
These characters meet life head on and cope in ways that resonate with the most fundamental fears and strengths in all of us. --Sally Whitney, author and editor of Best's Review
In a world where technological innovation and mass media are homogenizing American English, Judith Bader Jones preserves the beauty of the vernacular language distinctive to the Missouri Delta--that "mosquito infested backdrop of civilization"--and captures the heart of people in the process of loving and losing, being and becoming. --Editors.
Cover design by Kristine Lowe-Martin.