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Cover for New Stories from the South 2001

New Stories from the South 2001

The Year's Best

Shannon Ravenel (Editor), Lee Smith (Preface by)


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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (1/10/1993)
Paperback (1/10/1992)
Paperback (8/19/2002)
Paperback (9/1/1998)
Paperback (10/1/1991)
Paperback (1/10/1994)
Paperback (1/5/2004)
Paperback (7/1/2003)
Paperback (9/8/2000)
Paperback (1/9/1996)
Paperback (1/9/1995)


It would be easy to describe the stories in this year's collection as typically Southern, if we only knew what that was. As Lee Smith writes in her engaging and provocative preface, the South is both as it always was and profoundly different. Some things have stayed the same: "As a whole, we Southerners are still religious, and we are still violent. We'll bring you a casserole, but we'll kill you, too." And some things have changed: many a Southerner spends more time in the mall than the kitchen, and many a Southerner is really a displaced Northerner. Still, there's something about life below the

Mason-Dixon line that leads to evocative, hilarious, moving, authentic, rip-your-heart-out stories.

Maybe it's true, as Lee Smith says, that "narrative is as necessary to us as air." Maybe narrative is in the air. This year's collection ranges from small vacant towns to thriving Southern cities, tracking the likes of a violent paperhanger, an ambitious fiddler, a failed adman, and a boy who kidnaps his schoolbus driver.

Nineteen standout writers make appearances in this year's volume: John Barth, Madison Smartt Bell, Marshall Boswell, Carrie Brown, Stephen Coyne, Moira Crone, William Gay, Jim Grimsley, Ingrid Hill, Christie Hodgen, Nicola Mason, Edith Pearlman, Kurt Rheinheimer, Jane R. Shippen, George Singleton, Robert Love Taylor, James Ellis Thomas, Elizabeth Tippens, Linda Wendling.

Each story is followed by an author's note. Readers will also find an updated list of magazines consulted by Ravenel and a complete list of all the stories selected each year since the inception of the series in 1986.

Algonquin Books, 9781565123113, 368pp.

Publication Date: September 14, 2001

About the Author

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.

Born in the small coal-mining town of Grundy, Virginia, Lee Smith began writing stories at the age of nine and selling them for a nickel apiece. Since then, she has written seventeen works of fiction, including Fair and Tender Ladies, Oral History, and, most recently, Guests on Earth. She has received many awards, including the North Carolina Award for Literature and an Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; her novel The Last Girls was a New York Times bestseller as well as winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. She lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina, with her husband, the writer Hal Crowther. Visit her at