New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 1987

Shannon Ravenel, Other Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill $0 (247p) ISBN 978-0-912697-66-6
In this collection of short stories from the South, there are narratives told from a child's point of view, strong women, and characters who drink heavily and have religious visions. In the introduction, editor Ravenel notes that she selected tales told in voices that are ""at once familiar and urgent.'' Indeed, the writers do, as Ravenel hopes, ``grab readers by the scruff of the neck and hold tight.'' In Peggy Payne's ``The Pure in Heart,'' it is hard not to be drawn to the university minister who feels obligated to tell his congregants that he has heard God's voicealthough he fears being consigned to the sort of church that has a marquee with a tally of the number of souls saved on a Sunday. In ``Where Pelham Fell,'' Bob Shacochis exposes the sensibilities of an aging colonel lost in memory, his weary wife and a perspicacious black farmer. In these stories, even the smallest of well-made sentences demonstrates a loyalty to the virtues of the best Southern prose. (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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