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Nothing Gold Can Stay: Storiesby Ron Rash
Synopses & Reviews
PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash turns again to Appalachia to capture lives haunted by violence and tenderness, hope and fear, in unforgettable stories that span from the Civil War to the present day.
In the title story, two drug-addicted friends return to the farm where they worked as boys to steal their former boss's gruesomely unusual war trophies. In "The Trusty," which first appeared in The New Yorker, a prisoner sent to fetch water for his chain gang tries to sweet-talk a farmer's young wife into helping him escape, only to find that she is as trapped as he is. In "Something Rich and Strange," a diver is called upon to pull a drowned girl's body free from under a falls, but he finds her eerily at peace below the surface. The violence of Rash's characters and their raw settings are matched only by their resonance and stark beauty, a masterful combination that has earned Rash an avalanche of praise.
"Rash's latest short fiction collection explores the often harsh vicissitudes of life in North Carolina. In the title story, two drug-addicted friends make plans to rob a former employer of his WWII souvenir, while 'Night Hawks' features a former teacher with a self-inflicted facial scar who seeks refuge as a late-night radio DJ. Rash's period stories, though, make the biggest impression, like the Depression-era 'The Trusty,' in which a con man on a chain gang seduces a lonely farmer's wife in the hope of using her to aid in his escape. In 'The Magic Bus,' a 16-year-old country girl encounters two San Francisco hippies in a flower-painted VW microbus who entice her to run away with them. 'The Dowry,' set immediately after the Civil War, relates how a pastor's surprising sacrifice allows a young Union veteran to marry the daughter of a Confederate officer who lost his hand in battle. For a change of pace, in the humorous 'A Sort of Miracle,' an accountant on an illegal bear hunt finds safety in the hands of his two slacker brothers-in-law. Although too many of the stories rely on the same basic dynamic, Rash impresses with clear-eyed, sympathetic writing about flawed and troubled characters. Agent: Marly Rusoff, the Marly Rusoff Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Violence-streaked stories that comprise another fine collection from [Ron] Rash…his oneness with the region and its people makes an indelible impression.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Rashs short stories thematically paint Appalachia not as a definitive place but as a series of many interconnected ways of relating to human and environmental frailty. Another fine addition to the Rash bibliography, and a great entry point for the uninitiated reader.” Library Journal
“[A] wonderful collection.” Booklist
“Ron Rash's fifth story collection, Nothing Gold Can Stay, set in hardscrabble Appalachia, has a tone and temperament like that of his compatriot Eudora Welty, with a twist of Barry Hannah.” Elle
“[L]ovely, essential new collection of stories...lyrical and honest, grounded in place yet sweeping in scope.” Boston Globe
“Striking...engaging...mesmerizing....After finishing this collection, one simply just wants to read more of Ron Rash.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
“In his new collection of stories, Ron Rash stunningly renders his native Appalachia as an exotic planetoid governed by its own peculiar orbital laws....Rash is a fast-rising superstar in the North Carolina literary constellation that includes such luminaries as Michael Parker, Clyde Edgerton and Phillip Gerard” Charlotte Observer
“Crime, with its violence, threads through the butchers-dozen of stories in the author's masterly 14th book, Nothing Gold Can Stay, as inexorably as it winds through the problematic lives of his Appalachian-dwelling characters.” Wall Street Journal
“[Rash's] starkly beautiful prose has mapped the heart and soul of southern Appalachia in a way few writers of his generation can match....A splendid new collection...shimmering, liquid poetry.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Nothing Gold Can Stay is a gripping collection, raw and real, that solidifies Rash as a powerful and imaginative storyteller.” Kansas City Star
“Ron Rash's Nothing Gold Can Stay is [his] best book since Serena. Excitingly versatile....The stories are united by clean, tough specificity, courtly backwoods diction, and a capacity for sending shivers. (Alfred Hitchcock would have loved the story ‘A Sort of Miracle).” Janet Maslin, The New York Times>
From Ron Rash, PEN / Faulkner Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author of Serena, comes a new collection of unforgettable stories set in Appalachia that focuses on the lives of those haunted by violence and tenderness, hope and fear — spanning the Civil War to the present day.
The darkness of Ron Rash's work contrasts with its unexpected sensitivity and stark beauty in a manner that could only be accomplished by this master of the short story form.
Nothing Gold Can Stay includes 14 stories, including Rash's “The Trusty,” which first appeared in The New Yorker.
About the Author
Ron Rash is the author of The Cove and of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and New York Times bestselling novel Serena, in addition to three other prizewinning novels, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; three collections of poems; and four collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, Rash teaches at Western Carolina University.
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