Dirty Little Angels is a gritty read


This slice-of-life story by Chris Tusa, published by the University of West Alabama in 2009, tells the tale of Hailey, and her dysfunctional family.  Set in the American south, populated by poor whites, blacks and a smattering of Hispanics, the plot revolves around Hailey’s coming of age and culminates in a murder and encroaching mental illness.

The characters of Hailey, Cyrus, Mama, Daddy, Meridian, Chase, and Moses are fully drawn, through dialogue as well as action. Each of them is flawed; some with redeeming qualities, others with none. Verma is the wise but ailing crone, trying to assist the family to function in a community beset by unemployment, alcoholism, depression, infidelity, and poverty. Uncle Errol is the villain who wants to evict Hailey’s family. Mr Guidry represents the suffering of a Christ like figure, someone who has accepted his impending death with grace and humour. Continue reading