New Stories from the South : the Year's Best. 1986-2007

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Shannon Ravenel, Larry Brown
Algonquin Books, 2002 - Fiction - 328 pages
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As Larry Brown explains in this year's preface, This is all that I have, this land called North Mississippi, home of my father, and grand-fathers, and great-grandfathers, and luckily for me, it turns out to be always enough. It's that land and everything around it-the intractable clay soil, the twisting rivers, the air heavy with humidity-that makes the South a character in its own right, and that permeates this year's collection.

The stories in the seventeenth volume of New Stories from the South begin with the land or the water or the weather, but it's their depth and richness that take us somewhere altogether new-the South, seen from a wholly new perspective, as if for the first time. From the mountains of Tennessee to the suburbs of New Orleans to a hollowed-out antebellum house to the center of Texas, this year's New Stories from the South turns out to be always enough.

Nineteen writers make their mark in this year's volume: Dwight Allen, Russell Banks, Brad Barkley, Doris Betts, William Gay, Aaron Gwyn, Ingrid Hill, David Koon, Andrea Lee, Romulus Linney, Corey Mesler, Lucia Nevai, Julie Orringer, Dulane Upshaw Ponder, Bill Roorbach, George Singleton, Kate Small, R. T. Smith, and Max Steele.

Each story is followed by the author's notes about its origin. Readers will also find an updated list of the magazines consulted by Ravenel and a complete list of all the stories selected each year since the series' inception in 1986.

 

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Contents

TENNESSEE
1
END OF THE STEAM AGE
28
CHARTING THE TERRITORIES OF THE RED
55
THE UNRIPE HEART
73
OF FALLING
81
THE RAT SPOON
95
ANTHROPOLOGY
110
ABOVEGROUND
124
From Nimrod International
188
SHOWANDTELL
201
PILGRIMS
216
BIG BEND
235
THE OUTER BANKS
252
THE GROWTH AND DEATH OF BUDDY GARDNER
257
THE BONE DIVERS
269
FAITH HEALER
288

I HAVE LOST MY RIGHT
146
BENEATH THE DEEP SLOW MOTION
158
From The Raleigh News Observer
183
APPENDIX
307
PREVIOUS VOLUMES
317
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Shannon Ravenel has edited New Stories from the South since 1986. Formerly editorial director of Algonquin Books, she now directs her Algonquin imprint, Shannon Ravenel Books. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Larry Brown was born in Lafayette County, Mississippi, where he lived all his life. At the age of thirty, a captain in the Oxford Fire Department, he decided to become a writer and worked toward that goal for seven years before publishing his first book, Facing the Music, a collection of stories, in 1988. With the publication of his first novel, Dirty Work, he quit the fire station in order to write fulltime. Between then and his untimely death in 2004, he published seven more books. His three grown children and his widow, Mary Annie Brown, live near Oxford.

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