I Hate To See That Evening Sun Go Down: Collected Stories
Simon and Schuster
, Oct 15, 2002
- 320 pages
William Gay firmly established himself as "the big new name to include in the storied annals of Southern Lit" (Esquire) with his debut novel, The Long Home, and his critically acclaimed follow-up, Provinces of Night. Like Faulkner's Mississippi and Cormac McCarthy's American West, Gay's Tennessee is redolent of broken, colorful souls hard at work charting the pathos of their interior lives.
His debut collection, I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down, brings together what Gay's dedicated readers are eager for and what new readers will find the perfect introduction to his world: thirteen stories that are mined from this same fertile soil teeming with the grizzled, everyday folk that Gay is famous for bringing to life. In these pages readers meet old man Meecham, who escapes from his new nursing home only to find his son has rented their homestead to "white trash"; Quincy Nell Qualls, who not only falls in love with the town lothario but, pregnant, is faced with an inescapable end when he abandons her; Finis and Doneita Beasley, whose forty-year marriage is broken up by a dead dog; Bobby Pettijohn, who is awakened in the middle of the night by the noise and lights of a search party looking for clues after a body is discovered in his backwoods.
William Gay expertly sets these conflicted people who make bad choices in life and love against lush back-country scenery, and somehow manages to defy moral logic as we grow to love his characters for the weight of their human errors. Diverse as these tales are, what connects them is the powerful voice of a born storyteller.