March, Stephen 1948-

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March, Stephen 1948-

PERSONAL:

Born 1948. Education: University of North Carolina, M.F.A.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Language, Literature and Communications Department, Elizabeth City State University, 112 Johnson Hall, 1704 Weeksville Rd., Elizabeth City, NC 27909. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, NC, professor of English.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Clay Reynolds Novell Prize, 2003, for Armadillo; Independent Publisher Award, 2005, for Love to the Spirits; Booksense Notable Book citation, American Booksellers' Association, for Catbird.

WRITINGS:

FICTION

Armadillo (novella), Texas Review Press (Huntsville, TX), 2003.

Love to the Spirits (short stories), River City (Montgomery, AL), 2004.

Catbird (novel), Permanent Press (Sag Harbor, NY), 2006.

Contributor of short stories to periodicals, including the New Orleans Review, Carolina Quarterly, Tampa Review, Seattle Review, William and Mary Review, and Appalachian Heritage.

SIDELIGHTS:

Stephen March is a writer of fiction, including novellas, short stories, and novel-length works. His first publication, Armadillo, is a "country noir" tale, according to Dan Wickett in the Emerging Writers Forum. The novella describes the odd love triangle between Chuck, who works in an auto-body shop, Wanda, who is looking for shelter, and Cross, who runs the repair shop, which is actually a cover for moving stolen cars. Cross is the malevolent one of the trio, upon whom Chuck and Wanda ultimately seek revenge. Armadillo won the Clay Reynolds Novella Prize and was praised by that award's judge for its realistic characters. March followed up this debut work with Love to the Spirits, a collection of sixteen tales whose common theme, according to the River City Publishing Web site, is "the characters' efforts to complete perilous passages in their lives across a span of ice dangerously thin."

In 2006 March published his first full-length fiction work, Catbird. At the book's center is Zeb Dupree, who at one point in his life seemed to have it all: he managed to work his way out of his family's sharecropper background, attending college, marrying well, and finding success as an editor at a New Orleans newspaper. Then things began falling apart for him: his father committed suicide, Zeb took to drinking and lost both his wife and his job, and finally he moved back to his college town. The novel deals with Zeb's efforts to build a new life for himself, attempting to find a band for whom he can play fiddle; he also reexamines the crucial events in his life thus far, hoping to bury the despair and depression that have come close to ruining his life. Writing in Library Journal, Joshua Cohen praised March's sense of scene, noting that the author "effectively captures the rural South circa the early Seventies." Similarly, a Kirkus Reviews critic concluded that Catbird is a "likable first novel [that] is unerringly true in its evocation of Southern mores." Further praise came from Booklist contributor David Pitt, who praised the "psychological clarity" of the novel.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 1, 2006, David Pitt, review of Catbird, p. 30.

Kirkus Reviews January 1, 2006, review of Catbird, p. 11.

Library Journal, February 1, 2006, Joshua Cohen, review of Catbird, p. 73.

ONLINE

Emerging Writers Forum,http://www.breaktech.net/emergingwritersforum/ (October 3, 2003), Dan Wickett, review of Armadillo.

River City Publishing Web site,http://www.rivercitypublishing.com/ (November 21, 2006), synopsis of Love to the Spirits.