Bargains in the Real World: Thirteen Stories

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Random House, 2001 - Fiction - 221 pages
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"In the South there are a lot of secrets, some of them unconscious. It's the tension these secrets create that makes this place ripe for storytelling". Growing up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Betsy Cox could look out the window of her bedroom and see across the Tennessee River, beyond Williams Island, and into the gliding series of mountains that form the eastern range of the Appalachians. The view so inspired her that it later became a metaphor for her life. "The river taught me how to move, the island taught me how to be alone, and the mountains taught me how to remain". Bargains in the Real World is a collection of stories that are driven by the effort to see behind the choices made by ordinary people. The characters struggle with a complex mixture of kindness and violence, and their decisions reveal a flawed but compassionate humanity. The stories explore the way the bargains we make affect our ability to become deeply, profoundly human.

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Bargains in the real world: thirteen stories

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There is an old-fashioned sensibility to Cox's storytelling. Bucking contemporary trends in fiction that rely on pop-culture references and shock value, Cox's gentle prose evokes a Southern warmth ... Read full review


Acknowledgments xi
Old Court
Land of Goshen

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About the author (2001)

Elizabeth Cox is the author of three novels, Familiar Ground, The Ragged Way People Fall Out of Love, and Night Talk. She is a recipient of the O. Henry Award for short fiction. She teaches writing at Duke and Bennington and makes he home in Littleton, Massachusetts. She has a son and daughter and is married to Mike Curtis, fiction editor at The Atlantic Monthly.

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