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New Stories from the South 2001: The Year's Best Paperback – September 14, 2001

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4 Stars and Up Feature: Kitchens of the Great Midwest
"Foodies and those who love contemporary literature will devour this novel that is being compared to Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge. A standout." --Library Journal Learn more
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There are no weak links in this collection of 20 stories, though with the exceptions of John Barth and Madison Smartt Bell, the series' 16th volume lacks household names. Editor Ravenel has done her usual superb job of finding a variety of stories that encompass virtually all aspects of Southern life. "The Paperhanger" by William Gay, a frequent contributor, involves a girl who mysteriously vanishes, and her parents' subsequent ruin. The paperhanger of the title reveals himself to be "one sick puppy," as one of the locals observes, and the ending of this tale is not for the faint of heart. In "Jolie-Gray" by Ingrid Hill (a talented writer still waiting for her big break), what appears to be a leisurely, how-I-spent-my-summer vacation story suddenly turns sinister when 15-year-old Jolie-Gray is turned out onto the streets of New Orleans by a deceitful relative and left to fend for herself. Jane Shippen in "I Am Not Like Nu¤ez" draws a frightening portrait of another 15-year-old, Charlotte Kay, known as Sharky, who with her pill-popping stripper mother and delinquent young brother, Nu¤ez, is on a fast track to trouble and oblivion. The most humorous story is "In Between Things" by Marshall Boswell, in which a couple are only happy dating when they are officially no longer a couple. Barth's story "The Rest of Your Life," more accessible than most of his writing, hinges on a computer suddenly changing the current date to August 27, 1956, and all the speculations, memories and possibilities inherent in such a situation. This is a fine showcase for the South's many talented writers.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The South, Lee Smith notes in her preface, has become very urban--two-thirds urban, in fact, whereas in the 1930s it was two-thirds rural. The various triumphs of contemporary American urbania, so she has witnessed, have spread out across the space between cities, absorbing rural areas. Of course, along with the Carolinas and Virginia and Tennessee, the South also includes Miami, Atlanta, Memphis, and New Orleans. The stories in this new anthology have hints of the changes Smith notes, but the collection covers a wide range of locales. There are some prominent authors represented here, such as John Barth and Madison Smartt Bell, and some prominent journals from points north as well, such as Ontario Review and the New Yorker. Amid an urban South more and more imbued with a national culture, Smith sees that something southern nonetheless persists: "We southerners love a story, and will tell you anything." James O'Laughlin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: New Stories from the South (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books (September 14, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565123115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565123113
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,795,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A. Levine on January 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These collections are uneven but generally have a few gems in them that expose me to writers of whom I'd like to read more. This collection features a nice preface by Lee Smith, one of my favorite writers,
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By Ashley on June 18, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pretty good book help me improve my writing skills.
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