New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 1988

Shannon Revenel, Author, Shannon Ravenel, Editor
Shannon Revenel, Author, Shannon Ravenel, Editor Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-912697-90-1
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Although they are not all of equal caliber, these 16 stories evoke the South with lush, pungent imagery and colorful, lyrical patois, serving as an inviting introduction to some newer writers and as an intriguing, authentic sampler of a number of small and regional literary magazines. Superior tales include Rick Bass's ``The Watch,'' where an old man flees into the bayou to escape his mad son; Richard Bausch's nightmarelike ``The Man Who Knew Belle Starr,'' about an ex-con who changes the course of his life by picking up a hitchhiker; and Pam Durban's ``Belonging,'' which depicts a divorced woman who comes home to South Carolina to recover a farfetched sense of place and security. Other notable entries are Jill McCorkle's ``First Union Blues,'' whose endearing, sanguine narrator decides to chuck her responsible, safe, but boring and predictable lifestyle, and Barbara Kingsolver's ``Rose-Johnny,'' where the eponymous protagonist who ``wore a man's haircut and terrified little children'' harbors the secret of a horrific family tragedy kindled by racial hatred. (September)
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