Books & Stories

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Whisperwood

“Like all great writers, Temple reveals general truths by focusing on the particular. In Whisperwood’s young Confederate soldier Anderson Flowers, we have a 19th-century Odysseus, caught in a tedious, bewildering, brutal, and terrifying struggle and longing to return home to his true love. In Flowers’s unique experience are reflected not only the epic sweep of the Civil War but also Temple’s grand themes of the absurdity of war and the redemptive power of love.” — Terence Gleeson, Professor of Theater, English, and Humanities, Neumann University (retired)

Whisperwood is a work of fiction, built upon the bones of Temple’s great-grandfather’s lived experiences. Twenty years ago, Temple began researching the history of the 20th Mississippi Regiment, the Civil War, and the language and customs of 1860s rural America. He found firsthand accounts, letters to and from home, and an abundance of historical information. Whisperwood portrays a soldier’s point of view of the terrible four-year struggle of brothers in arms and Anderson’s struggle within. 

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WHISPERWOOD – Honorable Mention Award – San Francisco Book Festival 2020
http://www.sanfranciscobookfestival.com/winners_2020.htm

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Breakfast at Mema’s

Breakfast at Mema’s, published in 2016, is a vivid portrayal of time and place, a collection of humorous, poignant stories from the 1960s in Ruston, a small college town nestled in the tree-covered hills of north Louisiana. In Southern storytelling style, the interconnected vignettes portray a unique time and place when Temple’s world was outdoors and the landline telephone was the only personal communication device. His parents taught him and his siblings to treat others as they’d like to treated and then set them free to figure out the rest. He shares how his days  were packed with play and work – climbing trees, riding bikes, tending the garden, poking around in the woods, hunting, fishing, mowing yards, Boy Scout outings, reading books, and girls. The collection narrates how assassinations, abortions, and Vietnam interrupted the idyllic life, revealing a bigger, more complicated world,

“Temple’s gentle memoir, Breakfast at Mema’s, serves up a bit of indulgent nostalgia in prose that is both direct and evocative. At first blush, the stories are a potpourri of childhood vignettes — more Andy of Mayberry than the edgier tell-all stories of dysfunction we have more or less come to expect. They progress, not unexpectedly, up to and over the precipice of a few of those moments that signaled for each of us the ’end’ of childhood.” — Nancy McBride, Middle School Social Studies Teacher, Alexandria, Virginia. 
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Bayou de L’Outre, the River of Otters, North Louisiana
Illustration from the manuscript of “Whisperwood”
Illustration from the manuscript of “Whisperwood”
Illustration from the manuscript of “Whisperwood”

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