Paperback / softback
February 23, 2016
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
.6 Pounds (US)
$19.99 USD
v2.1 Reference

The Time the Waters Rose

& Stories of the Gulf Coast

Writer Paul Ruffin celebrates the mysteries of the sea in the short story collection The Time the Waters Rose. From shrimp boat captains to shipyard workers, Ruffin's characters are men who drink, swear, fight, and sometimes kill, but what unifies them is that all-embracing magic of the Gulf coast and the barrier islands. While some are drawn to the Gulf for its mystery, others are there simply to earn a living,and all are unforgettable, from the bawdy, snuff-dipping, rednecks to the land-locked shipbuilder who erects a ship in his suburban backyard to the salty old freethinker aboard The Drag Queen who gives his evangelical shipmate hell for suggesting they say grace beforelunch.

The title story, which Ruffin started writing as a ten-year-old bored with traditional Biblical tales, is an irreverent, satirica l retelling of the epic Noah story. All the other tales are set in and around the Mississippi coast, but they are not your typical sea and fishing yarns. While some of the stories may seem far-fetched, they are all drawn from Ruffin's experiences and are rich with tactile descriptions of the Pascagoula River and its surrounding marshlands, from the sun and shadow play of the open waters to the powerful thunderheads and squalls that arise at a moment's notice over the islands of the Gulf.


"In Ruffin's new collection, men, boats, and bodies of water collide unexpectedly, with results that are often humorous, violent, or both....These stories exploring how life on the water affects everyday people make for amiable reading, but they become most compelling when Ruffin taps into the bleaker impulses found below a more cordial façade."—Kirkus Reviews

"Paul Ruffin's extraordinary body of work is squarely within the tradition of the South's best weavers of tales."—American Book Review

"In these stories words break bright across pages roiling with laughter and tears. As they roll back from their high narrative marks, they deposit thoughts and feelings, the awareness that real living is hard and mysterious. Ruffin knows the hearts of place and people. At times both shined honeyed like the surface of a quiet sea just before evening. At other times both are dark as a shadowed lagoon, hiding water-soaked logs and home to alligators and water moccasins. Wonderful stories, tales that transform days and nights!"—Sam Pickering, author of Happy Vagrancy and All My Days Are Saturdays

"Paul Ruffin's Gulf Coast recalls Melville's observation: 'Meditation and water are wedded for ever.' Factory workers, fishermen, free-thinkers, and ark-builders live hard, love hard, and die hard in this salty place of contradictions where refinery burn-off torches are dark candles casting light on 'God's spiny creatures of the briny deep.'"—Allen Wier, author of Tehano

"Having long ago succumbed to the mysteries of the ocean, Paul Ruffin adroitly traces the people and cultures along the most ravaged American coastline of the twenty-first century. This is a timely—if not overdue—collection of place, grace, and human experience."—Casey Clabough, author of Confederado: A Novel of the Americas

University of South Carolina Press
Non Series

9781611176148 : the-time-the-waters-rose-ruffin
Paperback / softback
$19.99 USD

Other Titles by Paul Ruffin

The Time the Waters Rose

Paul Ruffin
Feb 2016 - University of South Carolina Press
$19.99 USD - Electronic book text

Travels with George in Search of Ben Hur and Other Meanderings

Paul Ruffin
Jun 2012 - University of South Carolina Press
$18.99 USD - Electronic book text

Jesus in the Mist

Paul Ruffin
May 2012 - University of South Carolina Press
$19.99 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles from Non Series

A Guidebook to South Carolina Historical Markers

Edwin Breeden
Feb 2021 - University of South Carolina Press
$24.99 USD - Paperback / softback
$74.99 USD - Hardback

Live at Jackson Station

Daniel M. Harrison
Jan 2021 - University of South Carolina Press
$24.99 USD - Paperback / softback

Monumental Harm

Roger C. Hartley
Jan 2021 - University of South Carolina Press
$89.99 USD - Hardback
$29.99 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in FICTION / Short Stories (single author)


Pamela Painter
Nov 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$21.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$21.95 USD - Electronic book text

Grieving for Guava

Cecilia M. Fernandez
Apr 2020 - University Press of Kentucky
$24.95 USD - Electronic book text
$24.95 USD - Electronic book text
$24.95 USD - Hardback

Juanita and the Frog Prince

Ed McClanahan
Mar 2020 - South Limestone, an imprint of University Press of Kentucky
$24.95 USD - Hardback