This magnificent summation of the short stories of Shirley Ann Grau, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Keepers of the House, gathers together eighteen gems ranking with the finest of Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor. Grau possesses a range representing a master course in the craft of this most demanding art form. Her reader's banquet offers character sketches of Chekovian poignance and insight, a hilarious love story, excursions into the gothic and hauntingly apocalyptic, the elegiac and experimental, and stories that feel like compressed novels in their lapidary polish, depth, and emotional weight. Grau belongs in the company of the great southern short story writers, and the author's own choices of her best work remind readers of the unmatched capacity of the brief fictional form to depict character epiphany and such timeless themes as redemption and rebirth, the struggle between power and love, and the persistence of the past.
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