Jim Biedenharn writes in a distinctly Southern voice, a rarity in 21st century literature. Yet in his stories the reader will find neither a glorification nor a condemnation of the historical South. The author’s theological awareness does not allow him to be stuck in such follies of humankind. For the characters that live in River City Ebb & Flow: Dr. Jas. O’Phelan’s Stories from the Wicker Basket under this Fragile Balloon, human follies are only pertinent in context of redemption—or to the lack thereof.
About the Author:
Jim Biedenharn is a native of Vicksburg, Mississippi, a historic town located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers—the very southern tip of the famed Mississippi Delta. His roots run deep in the region, which in turn runs deep in his writing. Biedenharn has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University. After a fulfilling and storied career serving as an ordained minister, he has devoted his retirement years to being with his family and pursuing literary endeavors. Writing under the nom de plume “Dr. Jas. O’Phelan,” his stories first appeared in Canopic Jar: An Arts Journal in 1987. River City Ebb & Flow: Dr. Jas. O’Phelan’s Stories from the Wicker Basket under this Fragile Balloon is his first book.
In many ways this little collection of stories just may identify Jim Biedenharn as one of the last genuine voices of Southern Literature. Grandiose? Perhaps. But the proof is in the writing.