New Stories From the South by Shannon Ravenel
The Year's Best, 2000

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Synopsis

Whether it's the bodybuilder who picks up energy in the air, the rich girl who sees potential in the beer-drinking factory worker at her father's cardboard plant, the girl who turns against her evangelist father to find the real Jesus, the aunt with a withered arm who may have influenced Flannery O'Connor, the feminist scholar trying to reason with a good old boy, or the young MFA student determined to write a good story, this year's collection is about the connections these Southerners will to happen. Each story, as Ellen Douglas's thoughtful preface says, testifies to our need to "feel and understand the significance of the buzzing blooming dying chaos of our experience." This fifteenth edition is rich with unforgettable characters and full of great moments of comedy and tragedy.

Twenty writers tell their stories in this year's NSFS: A. Manette Ansay, Wendy Brenner, D. Winston Brown, Robert Olen Butler, Cathy Day, R.H.W. Dillard, Tony Earley, Clyde Edgerton, William Gay, Tim Gautreaux, Allan Gurganus, John Holman, Romulus Linney, Thomas H. McNeely, Christopher Miner, Chris Offutt, Margo Rabb, Karen Sagstetter, Mary Helen Stefaniak, Melanie Sumner

Each selection is accompanied by a look into the origin of the story. Readers will also find an updated list of magazines consulted by the editor for this edition and a complete list of all the stories selected each year since the series' genesis in 1986.

 

About Shannon Ravenel

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Shannon Ravenel has edited New Stories from the South since 1986. Formerly editorial director of Algonquin Books, she now directs her Algonquin imprint, Shannon Ravenel Books. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Ellen Douglas was the pen name of Josephine Ayres Haxton, who was born in Natchez, Mississippi on July 12, 1921. She graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1942. During her lifetime, she wrote eleven books, including six novels and several collections of short stories and essays. Her novels include Apostles of Light, The Rock Cried Out, A Family's Affairs, A Lifetime Burning, and Can't Quit You, Baby. She won a lifetime achievement award in 2008 from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. She died after an extended illness on November 7, 2012 at the age of 91.
 
Published September 8, 2000 by Algonquin Books. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for New Stories From the South

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Robert Morgan's devastating ""Dark Corner,"" about a penniless, dispossessed Texas family traveling to North Carolina, hooks readers with the tragic, knowing narrative voice of a young girl and skillfully illustrates human beings' noble but futile attempts to beat back death.

Oct 01 1994 | Read Full Review of New Stories From the South: T...

Publishers Weekly

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As quoted by Ellen Douglas in her preface to the 15th anthology in this consistently strong series, a neighbor of Flannery O'Connor once said, Them stories just gone and shown you how some folks wou

Sep 11 2000 | Read Full Review of New Stories From the South: T...

Publishers Weekly

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On a lighter note, Butler's ""Help Me Find My Spaceman Lover"" is a hilarious, touching story about a relationship between a lonely divorcee and an alien she meets in the parking lot of a 24-hour Wal-Mart in Bovary, Ala.

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Publishers Weekly

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In "Jolie-Gray" by Ingrid Hill (a talented writer still waiting for her big break), what appears to be a leisurely, how-I-spent–my-summer vacation story suddenly turns sinister when 15-year-old Jolie-Gray is turned out onto the streets of New Orleans by a deceitful relative and left to fend for h...

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Publishers Weekly

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Though certainly not filled with humor, this year's collection—with offerings like George Singleton's "Raise Children Here," Brock Clarke's "The Lolita School" and Drew Perry's "Love Is Gnats Today"—reflects a less somber view than the 2003 edition.

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Publishers Weekly

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In those stories that seem distinctly Southern (not all do), it's mostly voice, a way of talking, rather than a way of looking at life, that makes it so--and that makes this anthology more a gathering of Southern accents than of Southern imaginations.

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Publishers Weekly

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This distinctive series' 14th anthology of Southern stories offers the usual capable and engaging mix, juxtaposing established writers (Tony Earley, Mary Gordon), emerging writers (Michael Knight, Heather Sellers), and some perhaps well known only in Southern literary communities (Kurt Rheinheime...

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Publishers Weekly

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Both Mary Helen Stefaniak (""A Note to Biographers Regarding Famous Author Flannery O'Connor"") and Margo Rabb (""How to Tell a Story"") use real-life experiences--Stefaniak's mother and aunts went to school with O'Connor, and Rabb's parents were killed in a plane crash--as their respective found...

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Nights and Weekends

For seventeen years, New Stories from the South has given readers a diverse sampling of the best stories about the south.

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