Ron Rash & Randall Kenan (online)
'In the Valley: Stories and a Novella Based on Serena'
In these ten stories, Rash spins a haunting allegory of the times we live in--rampant capitalism, the severing of ties to the natural world in the relentless hunt for profit, the destruction of body and soul with pills meant to mute our pain--and yet within this world he illuminates acts of extraordinary decency and heroism. Two of the stories have already been singled out for accolades: "Baptism" was chosen by Roxane Gay for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories 2018, and "Neighbors" was selected by Jonathan Lethem for The Best American Mystery Stories 2019. And in revisiting Serena Pemberton, Rash updates his bestselling parable of greed run amok as his deliciously vindictive heroine returns to the North Carolina wilderness she left scarred and desecrated to make one final effort to kill the child that threatens all she has accomplished. "A gorgeous, brutal writer" (Richard Price) working at the height of his powers, Ron Rash has created another mesmerizing look at the imperfect world around us.
Ron Rash is the author of the PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestselling novel Serena, in addition to the critically acclaimed novels The Risen, Above the Waterfall, The Cove, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; four collections of poems; and six collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, Nothing Gold Can Stay, a New York Times bestseller, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize and winner of the 2019 Sidney Lanier Prize for Southern Literature, he is the Parris Distinguished Professor in Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University and lives in Clemson, SC.
'If I Had Two Wings: Stories'
When Randall Kenan's first collection was published, The New York Times called it "nothing short of a wonder-book."
Set in fictional Tims Creek, North Carolina, these new stories are shot through with humor and seasoned by inventiveness and maturity. Kenan riffs on appetites of all kinds, on the eerie persistence of history, and on unstoppable lovers and unexpected salvations. There is a rich chorus of voices and visions, dreams and prophecies, marked by physicality and spirit. Kenan's prose is nothing short of wondrous.
Randall Kenan is the former chancellor of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and a professor of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
*Named a Garden & Gun and Atlanta Journal Constitution best book of the year*
Winner of the 2020 Thomas Robinson Prize for Southern Literature
"Mesmerizing...He's one of the best living American writers."--Janet Maslin, New York Times Book Review
Longlisted for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction
Finalist for the 2021 Aspen Words Literary Prize
Mingling the earthy with the otherworldly, these ten stories chronicle ineffable events in ordinary lives.