Synopses & Reviews
Over the past twenty-five years, New Stories from the South
has published the work of now well-known writers, including James Lee Burke, Andre Dubus, Barbara Kingsolver, John Sayles, Joshua Ferris, and Abraham Verghese and nurtured the talents of many others, including Larry Brown, Jill McCorkle, Brock Clarke, Lee Smith, and Daniel Wallace.
This twenty-fifth volume reachs out beyond the South to one of the most acclaimed short story writers of our day. Guest editor Amy Hempel admits, "I've always had an affinity for writers from the South," and in her choices, she's identified the most inventive, heartbreaking, and chilling stories being written by Southerners all across the country.
From the famous (Rick Bass, Wendell Berry, Elizabeth Spencer, Wells Tower, Padgett Powell, Dorothy Allison, Brad Watson) to the finest new talents, Amy Hempel has selected twenty-five of the best, most arresting stories of the past year. The 2010 collection is proof of the enduring vitality of the short form and the vigor of this ever-changing yet time-honored series.
"The 25 stories in this 25th annual anthology lean more toward 'menace' than outright attack, and though it's true that some of the stories lack a certain bite, this year's outing is a solid addition to a worthy institution. In 'Housewarming,' Kevin Wilson charts a father's pain as he removes a drowned deer from his son's pond and tries to flush from the young man's life an abiding anger that swamps them both. In Rick Bass's 'Fish Story' a man remembers the night he kept a massive catfish watered; the croaking thing refused to die, even as it was flayed. Toddlers, reptiles, parents, and predators alike stalk one another, but it's not animals who lurk in one of the best stories--Tim Gautreaux's 'Idols'--it's the ghost of Flannery O'Connor. As Gautreaux says in the author's comments, he wanted to find out if two of her 'famous characters could be Ã¢Â€Â˜continued,' so to speak.' They can if they're carried by Gautreaux, whose story reaffirms William Faulkner's assertion, and the series's preoccupation: 'The past is never dead. It's not even past.' (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
About the Author
A recipient of awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the United States Artists Foundation, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Amy Hempel is the author of Reasons to Live, At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom, Tumble Home, and The Dog of the Marriage and the coeditor of Unleashed. Her stories have appeared in numerous publications and have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Her Collected Stories was one of the New York Times’s ten best books of 2006. She won the Rea Award for the Short Story in 2008 and received the PEN/Malamud award for Short Fiction in 2009.