SLU professor publishes short stories collection _lowres

Photo provided by SLU Public Information Office -- Norman German

Southeastern Louisiana University English Professor Norman German has published a new collection of short stories.

“Dead Dog Lying,” a series of stories placed along the Interstate 10 corridor from New Orleans to Texas, shines a light on society’s misfits and is largely based on events the author has experienced, dreamed or witnessed over his life. Many of the characters in the stories take their names from towns along the corridor, such as Elton, Jennings, Iota, Cecilia and Henderson.

Norman said he dreamed about a boy with antlers and made him the protagonist of “Deerboy,” whose title character gains the gift of athletic prowess.

The story “Controlled Burn” uses a prescribed ecological fire as the metaphor for a female game warden’s barely controllable rage at her abusive father, on whom she exacts revenge in a unique way at the story’s end.

“The Girl and the Green Gas Can” is based on a relative’s childhood predilection for sniffing gasoline until she passed out.

The tale “Ditchboy” is based on the real-life English girl Hayley Okines, who died of progeria, the disease that prematurely ages its victims eight years for each year they live. “She was 17 — or in ‘progeria years’ and thanks to new life-extending drugs — 136 years old when she died,” German said.

“Dead Dog Lying” was published by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and is available through the UL Press, Amazon and other outlets.