cover image The Blue Valleys: A Collection of Stories

The Blue Valleys: A Collection of Stories

Robert Morgan / Author Peachtree Publishers $15.95 (168p) ISBN

This outstanding collection of short stories is award-winning poet Morgan's first work of fiction. Set largely in the Southern Appalachians, they range in perspective from deeply felt views of the Civil War to harsh glimpses of contemporary life. War and its lingering effects is a dominant theme: ``A Brightness New and Welcoming'' tells of the slow death of a young Confederate soldier, John Powell, in a fetid Northern prisoner-of-war camp. In a reverie, he conjures up his beloved wife and infant and his lush and fertile home. In an intensely moving final passage, John's companion returns to visit his widow, and the war-torn, impoverished South is rendered quickly and sharply. In ``Tailgunner,'' an ailing WW II veteran wistfully recalls his fiery crash and subsequent imprisonment with some nostalgia. Morgan has a deft touch for the nuances of family ties, and his characters in this realistic, evocative and often lyrical collection are formidable and well-drawn. (May)