Synopses & Reviews
For this year's volume, acclaimed writer ZZ Packer chooses some of the youngest and freshest voices on the literary horizon to accompany a host of well-established writers. And the stories they write tell of the South as it is now, the one not seen in the romanticized Southern fiction, but one where life is raw and risky. Here you'll find young girls encountering their first taste of corrupt adult world, a boy meeting his father for the first time, an uncle dealing with a nephew who's turned to meth. But this is still the South, and there is an alligator to be dealt with, a hurricane churning offshore, and the belief that a day at the beach can cure all.
As ZZ packer says in her introduction, "the sit-ins, the marches, the hope of better days…began in the South. Every other region can jam its fingers in its ears and shake its head and tunelessly chant 'Not in My Backyard,' but not so in the South. The South is the backyard. And as backward as we've been portrayed—or as backward as we've sometimes portrayed ourselves, slipping behind a curtain of innocent and naïve agrarianism, rural somnolence, and sleepy everlasting vowels—the truth is that every awful and beautiful thing that has happened in America happened in the South first." You'll feel the pulse of the South coursing through every one of her selections.
“A formidable and diverse group of talent between the covers of a single volume.” —The Charleston Post and Courier The Charleston Post and Courier
“The absolute best in short literary fiction.”—Pages magazine Pages Magazine
"The spirit of play is at work in this lively latest crop of Southern stories gamely chosen by fiction writer Gurganus...Skillful vernacular storytelling and writing with heart mark many of these selections...a buoyant mix of gravitas and levity...a delight to savor."
—Kirkus Kirkus Reviews
"For 20 years, the spectacular Shannon Ravenel edited New Stories from the South
, an annual collection of the best regional fiction. Extolling writers who favor risk-taking ('broadjumps into the great unknown'), Ravenel's successor, novelist Allan Gurganus (no mean risk-taker himself), presents stories as offbeat as Cary Holladay's chilling anatomy of racism, 'The Burning,' and Keith Lee Morris's eerie odyssey, 'Tired Heart.' Tradition with an edgy, modern twist."
—O, the Oprah magazine O, the Oprah magazine
"New Stories from the South
is a literary anthology of the all-star variety."
—Miami Herald Miami Herald
"….One of the pleasures of reading "New Stories From the South," year after year, is discovering new talent, writers who have not yet published a book. . . . In "New Stories From the South 2007 --- The Year's Best," Edward P. Jones' story sense pays off."—Atlanta Journal Constitution Atlanta Journal Constitution
"A suitably hospitable anthology, with an author comment, beneath his or her photo, at the end of each story." —Washington Post The Washington Post
"This is an evocative selection of 18 stories for those sons and daughters of the South who yearn for fiction that eschews the moonlight-and-magnolias claptrap. In his excellent introduction, novelist Edward P. Jones (The Known World) explores his original discomfort at being asked to edit a book of Southern short stories since he is a native of Washington, D.C. He asks: How do we define the South today? Traditional big hitters are featured: Rick Bass, James Lee Burke, Alan Gurganus and Tim Gautreaux, whose "The Safe" is outstanding. But the real excitement is reading stories by up-and-coming writers, such as National Book Award finalist Joshua Ferris.”--USA Today
This year, acclaimed short-story writer ZZ Packer chooses twenty distinctive stories representing the great number of voices and narratives coming out of the South. Some of the youngest and freshest talents on the literary horizon—Bret Anthony Johnston, Kevin Brockmeier, Holly Goddard Jones—accompany well-known Southern stalwarts, including Pinckney Benedict, Clyde Edgerton, and Ron Rash. Their stories tell of life as it is now, a life not seen in romanticized Southern fiction, one where existence—both urban and rural—is as raw and risky as it is alluring. The energy of this collection courses through every one of Packer's edgy, funny, and gritty selections.
Celebrated writer Packer takes the editorial helm of this signature series and selects 20 rock-solid stories that reflect the geography, people, and way of life in the South.
About the Author
Allan Gurganuss first novel, Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into twelve languages. His novel White People was the winner of the Los Angeles Book Prize and was a PEN/Faulkner finalist, and his short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, the Atlantic, and the Paris Review and has been anthologized in the The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Best American Short Stories, The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, and New Stories from the South. He is a 2006 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow.Z.Z. Packer's first collection, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and a New York Times Notable Book, and was selected by John Updike for the Today Show Book Club. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for fiction, a Whiting Writers' Award, and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. Packer is on the faculty of California College of the Arts, and her stories have been anthologized in Best American Short Stories and New Stories from the South.Kathy Pories earned her B.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She taught in the English Department at UNC and at Elon University before joining Algonquin in 1995. She lives in Durham, North Carolina.
Table of Contents
Introduction by ZZ PackerHolly Goddard Jones
, Theory of RealtyPinckney Benedict
, Bridge of SighsAmina Gautier
, The Ease of LivingKevin Moffett
, First MarriageRobert Drummond
, The Unnecessary ManStephanie Soileau
, So This Is PermanenceClyde Edgerton
, The Great Speckled BirdRon Rash
, Back of BeyondMerritt Tierce
, Suck ItR.T. Smith
, Wretch Like MeKaren E. Bender
, CandidateDavid James Poissant
, Lizard ManDaniel Wallace
, The GirlsJim Tomlinson
, First Husband, First WifeBret Anthony Johnston
, RepublicanMary Miller
, LeakCharlie Smith
, AlbemarleJennifer Moses
, Child of GodStephanie Dickinson
, Lucky Seven & Dalloway
, Andrea Is Changing Her Name