Something Rich and Strange: Selected Stories
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From the acclaimed, New York Times bestselling award-winning author of Serena and The Cove, thirty of his finest short stories, collected in one volume.
No one captures the complexities of Appalachia—a rugged, brutal landscape of exquisite beauty—as evocatively and indelibly as author and poet Ron Rash. Winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, two O Henry prizes, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, Rash brilliantly illuminates the tensions between the traditional and the modern, the old and new south, tenderness and violence, man and nature. Though the focus is regional, the themes of Rash’s work are universal, striking an emotional chord that resonates deep within each of our lives.
Something Rich and Strange showcases this revered master’s artistry and craftsmanship in thirty stories culled from his previously published collections Nothing Gold Can Stay, Burning Bright, Chemistry, and The Night New Jesus Fell to Earth. Each work of short fiction demonstrates Rash’s dazzling ability to evoke the heart and soul of this land and its people—men and women inexorably tethered to the geography that defines and shapes them. Filled with suspense and myth, hope and heartbreak, told in language that flows like “shimmering, liquid poetry” (Atlanta Journal Constitution), Something Rich and Strange is an iconic work from an American literary virtuoso.
and fancy clothes.” “I know that,” Jamie said. “But I get so tired of people acting resentful because we’re doing well. It even happens at the café. Why can’t they all be like Charlton, just happy for us?” “Because it reminds them they’re too lazy and undisciplined to do it themselves,” Matt said. “People like that will pull you down with them if you give them the chance, but we’re not going to let them do that to us.” Matt moved his hand slowly down her spine, letting it rest in the small of
mid-July Jason nodded toward the radio. “You don’t even know what they’re saying, do you kid?” Jason asked as he rolled a joint. “Everybody look what’s going down,” I said, after a few moments. “But what’s it about?” Jason asked. “I don’t know,” I answered. “It’s about not wanting to get your ass shot off in Vietnam,” Jason said. Matt looked up from a copy of Stranger in a Strange Land. “I didn’t hear anything about Vietnam.” “When you graduate and your deferment’s up you’ll hear it,”
hard to get. But this stuff, it’s too easy.” The sheriff looked out the window. “This snow’s going to make for a long day, so I’d better get to it.” “So you’re not going to arrest him?” “No,” Hawkins said. “He’ll have to wait his turn. There’s two dozen in line ahead of him. But you could do me a favor by giving him a call. Tell him this is his one chance, that next time I’ll lock his ass up.” Hawkins pressed his lips together a moment, pensive. “Hell, he might even believe it.” “I’ll tell
hillside with binoculars, sweeping without pause over where Jesse was. Another green park service truck drove up, two more rangers spilling out. Then Sheriff Arrowood’s car, silent as the ambulance. The sun lay behind Balsam Mountain now, and Jesse knew waiting any longer would only make it harder. He moved in a stupor of exhaustion, feet stumbling over roots and rocks, swaying like a drunk. When he got far enough, he’d be able to come down the ridge, ascend the narrow gorge mouth. But Jesse was
alighted near me.’” Dr. Timrod looks up from the book. “‘The affection of the survivors seemed rather to increase,’” he says softly. “That’s a pretty heartbreaking passage.” “Yes,” Ruth says. “It is.” Dr. Timrod lays the book on the desk. He looks at his watch. “I’ve got a meeting,” he says, standing up. He comes around the desk and offers his hand. “Congratulations. You may be on the cutting edge of South Carolina jaguar studies.” Ruth takes his hand, a stronger, more calloused hand than