Synopses & Reviews
In the twenty-fourth volume of this distinguished anthology, Madison Smartt Bell chooses twenty-one distinctive pieces of short fiction to tell the story of the South as it is now. This is a South that is still recognizable but no longer predictable. As he says, "to the traditional black and white recipe (ever a tricky and volatile mixture) have been added new shades and strains from Asia and Central and South America and just about everywhere else on the shrinking globe." Just as Katrina brought out into the open all the voices of New Orleans, so the South is now many things, both a distinctive region and a place of rootlessness. It's these contradictions that Madison Smartt Bell has captured in this provocative and moving collection of stories.
Here you'll find the well-known--Wendell Berry, Elizabeth Spencer, Jill McCorkle--alongside those writers just making their debuts, in stories that show the South we always thought we knew, making itself over, and over.
"Hurricane Katrina hangs like tendrils of Spanish moss over this uneven anthology of Southern fiction. The storm and its aftermath is most skillfully handled by Katherine Karlin in 'Muscle Memory,' where Destiny, whose father drowned in the flood, tries to learn welding in the shipyard where her father worked. Her fight is far more moving than Stephanie Dickinson's 'Love City,' in which Katrina feels shoehorned into a story of poverty and anger. Best are George Singleton's 'Between Wrecks,' imbued with a strong sense of the everyday bizarre and dark Southern wit and peopled by a fake arrowhead dealer and grave robbers; and 'Family Museum of the Ancient Postcards' by Stephanie Powell Watts, with its perceptive young narrator and the secrets she keeps for her aunt Ginny. There are some strong, original and revealing stories that offer a different and new way of viewing the South, but far too many are technically sound but bloodless." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In the 24th volume of this distinguished anthology, Bell chooses 21 distinctive pieces of short fiction to tell the story of the South as it is now. This collection includes stories by Wendell Berry, Elizabeth Spencer, and Jill McCorkle alongside those writers just making their debuts.
About the Author
Madison Smartt Bell is the author of twelve novels and two short story collections. All Souls' Rising
was a finalist for the 1995 National Book Award and the 1996 PEN/Faulkner Award. It won the 1996 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for the best book of the year dealing with matters of race. He has written essays and reviews for Harper's
, the New York Review of Books
, the New York Times Book Review
, the Village Voice
, and many other publications.