The insulated splendor of Morrocroft Estates had a certain artificial exclusiveness, but was no less compelling for that fact. In the absence of any natural distinction, Morrocroft was, much like the city of Charlotte itself, entirely dependent upon the creation of a fabricated one.
-- opening lines of "Uptown" (Main Street Rag; $14.95), by Jack Gardner
Though he lives in Virginia, Jack Gardner chose Charlotte as the setting of his first novel. The book's protagonist is Stephen Rayfield, a young history professor at UNC Charlotte, but the city itself also plays a major role in this story of pretense, betrayal and the New South.
Gardner, who graduated from Monroe High School, will give a reading at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, at Park Road Books, 4139 Park Road.