Something Rich and Strange: Selected Stories

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9780062349347: Something Rich and Strange: Selected Stories

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. 

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About the Author:

Ron Rash is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestseller Serena and Above the Waterfall, in addition to four prizewinning novels, including 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, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.

Review:

Rash is the master of his craft...The poet in Rash comes out in every story, in language so choice that even his shortest stories pack a serious wallop... Readers will want to read slowly, dipping into the contents judiciously to extend the pleasures of this stunning collection. (Booklist (starred review))

“This selection of 34 stories from four collections signals the growing prominence of a fine author... These superbly suspenseful stories evoke a world of hurt, but what makes them so deeply satisfying is that they enlarge our capacity for empathy.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“No one writes better about the misunderstood, bedeviled, mule-stubborn inhabitants of Southern Appalachia than Rash... Something Rich and Strange is a bonanza for short-story fans, and another great introduction to Rash for those who haven’t read the originals yet.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“For those unfamiliar with the beautiful and searing short stories of Ron Rash, Something Rich and Strange is a generous, well-timed introduction.... Rash’s stories tell in crisp, gripping prose the emotional travails of life on the Appalachian outback... Powerful and beautifully told.” (Associated Press)

“Rash’s stories show the highs of lows of life in the Appalachians through the decades, from the hardscrabble years of the Great Depression through the current challenges of meth addiction... Something Rich and Strange showcase[s] Rash’s narrative powers and convey why his work has won so many accolades.” (Asheville Mountain Express)

“[Rash] brings his poet’s eyes to the images of his people and place and his native ears to the language of that locale... Rash’s writing resonates with our lives.” (New York Journal of Books)

“Ron Rash’s stories portray the Appalachian landscape in all its brutal, exquisite complexity... It is not an easy feat for a writer to portray a region so fully that enduring truths are found in local circumstance... [Rash] beautifully illustrates the appeal and vexation of the South.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Ron Rash occupies an odd place in the pantheon of great American writers, and you’d better believe he belongs there...Something Rich and Strange is a major short-story anthology that can introduce new readers to this author’s haunting talents and reaffirm what his established following already knows.” (New York Times, Janet Maslin)

“Expect to be good for nothing for a long time after you read Ron Rash. His writing is powerful, stripped down and very still... Rash’s spectacular stories may originate in the peculiar soil of Appalachia, but their reach and their rewards are vast.” (NPR's Fresh Air)

“[R]ich and strange are two words that aptly apply to this book. I have two other words to continue with: Simply beautiful... some of the stories are so searing, it’s as if someone has taken a stick from a blazing fire and pressed it into your hand.” (NPR's All Things Considered)

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