Even as Lajos Egri argued that character ought to give rise to plot, in Clarinda Harriss’ The White Rail, Baltimore itself gives rise to a cast of extraordinary characters. These stories are replete with idiosyncratic personalities and their wit, dynamic modalities of genre and voice, and narratives at times suggestive of tall tales and that, at other times, contain meditations from places so interior that they almost never find a voice in our daily lives. Through the many window panes and facets leading to the interior life of a city in The White Rail, the reader may look out to find that the world that had seemed settled in concrete and wrought iron has changed forever. –Carol Quinn, author of Acetylene.
The White Rail is an inspired collection of short fiction by a master poet and storyteller. Each story illuminates such a perfectly drawn world and alluring cast of characters, clearly capturing time and place. I found myself hoping they wouldn’t end—and for me that’s the test of a great story. —D.R. Belz, author of White Asparagus, collected works.
"Clarinda Harriss has long been one of my favorite poets. Who knew she was also a remarkably gifted short story writer? Her brilliantly-told tales are poignant, surprising, hilarious, and enlightening. Simply put, The White Rail is a literary treasure."—Robert H. Deluty, Author, "Observed and Imagined," "Unfolding," and "The Thread of Revelation"
"Harriss, the celebrated writer (CityLit's Harriss Poetry Prize was named in her honor) and former Towson University professor, brings to mind Lucinda Williams with these half-dozen short stories. Like the singer-songwriter, Harriss excels at creating memorable characters within settings that accentuate their authenticity. Lovable psychopath Crazy Angel, for instance, makes Vinyl Recliner more creepy than comfy by flaunting his badass tendencies in well-heeled company. with lingering effects." — Baltimore Magazine, August, 2014 (the annual "best of Baltimore" issue)
Clarinda Harriss, a lifelong resident of Balitmore City, is a professor emerita of English at Towson University. She has directed BrickHouse Books, Inc., Maryland’s oldest literary press, for over forty years. Her most recent poetry collections are AIR TRAVEL, DIRTY BLUE VOICE, and MORTMAIN; a forthcoming collection of poems is working-titled either CRONE or GODDAM!. With Moira Egan, she co-edited HOT SONNETS: AN ANTHOLOGY, published by Entasis Press in 2012. A major research interest continues to be prison writers.