The Collected Stories of John William Corrington

John W. Corrington, Editor, William Mills, Designed by University of Missouri Press $24.95 (515p) ISBN 978-0-8262-0753-1
A character in the title story of Corrington's 1968 collection The Lonesome Traveler says the American South ``is a terrible land''; so it may be but Corrington (1932-1988) never ceased to be fascinated by it. The other collections represented here, The Actes and Monuments (1978) and The Southern Reporter (1981), and the previously uncollected ``Heroic Measures/Vital Signs'' (1986) are all concerned with the contradictions and colors of Southerners. Whether featuring a Creole lady in 1864 New Orleans or a late-1970s washed-up country singer/D.J. at a California radio station, the stories fearlessly, and generally with success, take on big topics--death, duty, honor, despair (with gobs of violence). Most tales have quirky turns: ``The Lonesome Traveler'' does not tell the 1935 rural lynching story a young Yankee reporter expects; in ``Nothing Succeeds'' an aristocratic old lawyer seeks an heir to Louisiana millions in 1968 California and is almost killed in a drug raid; in ``Heroic Measures'' a hospital visit turns into mystic violence. Corrington's style sometimes recalls Flannery O'Connor's gothic sensibility; at other times, one can detect his influence on James Dickey's romanticized view of the South. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
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