Brier Country: Stories from Blue Valley

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9780826212795: Brier Country: Stories from Blue Valley

In Brier Country, Elaine Fowler Palencia returns to Blue Valley, the fictional locale in the Appalachian foothills of eastern Kentucky that is the focus of her highly acclaimed Small Caucasian Woman. Blue Valley is a small community—a town where little goes on "except what is left out of history books"—and most of its residents are "brierhoppers," as folks from Appalachia are sometimes known north of the Ohio River. Reuniting readers with characters from her first collection, Palencia continues to map her uniquely poignant territory in these sixteen new stories.

A criminal on the lam in "Waiting for Snow" tries to make up for past transgressions even as the police are closing in. Years later, in "Emus," the retired cop who was part of the chase clears his own conscience. In "Guard Your Man," a high school physical-education teacher works to bring back women's basketball, which was outlawed for forty years in Kentucky. Through the eyes and minds of these various characters, we learn that people in Blue Valley are far more engaging and complex than they originally appear to be.

We also learn that Blue Valley has a small college. It is here we meet Julia Bone, a haughty professor from Alabama who feels she is too good to live in Kentucky; here we eavesdrop on the private journal kept by Fenwick Radnor, the dictatorial college president; and here we search the science building for a set of embalmed fetuses that haunts the dreams of a former resident of Blue Valley. Throughout these new tales, the supernatural realm hovers behind the curtain of daily life, as in the stories of a nurse who performs a secret function in a city hospital, the eerie automobile journey of an aging salesman making his last trip, and the power of a grouping of trees known as the Three Graces.

Praised by James McConkey as "unique and yet part of an American tradition that includes . . . the fiction of Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor, and reaches back to Mark Twain," Palencia is known for her trademark wit, ear for dialogue, and sense of place—all of which make Brier Country a welcome addition to the folklore of Blue Valley.

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About the Author:

Elaine Fowler Palencia, a freelance writer and editor living in Champaign, Illinois, grew up in Kentucky and Tennessee. Her short stories have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Chattahoochee Review, and other literary magazines.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Life in Kentuckys Appalachia, where the brier-hoppers live, is revisited by Palencia in stories that remain softly focused vignettes more than sharp images with bite. Some characters, like Dreama and Floyd Forrester, who figured in Palencias first collection (Small Caucasian Woman, 1993), reappear here in locations in and around Blue Valley, the fictional community they call home: a place where the hills block the reception for NPR; where a visiting Yankee professor is the sole subscriber to The New York Times; and where conformity and piety are prized. In Salvation on Calfkiller, set near the time of the abdication of Edward VII, a farmers wife named Arizona is told that she resembles Wallis Simpson; she buys a new hat, has her hair cut, and dreams of an old loveonly to find her family shunned and herself castigated. In two pieces about the Forrester family, Dreamas father has to adjust to leaving his farm and moving in with Floyd and Dreama (Not Paid For), and at a family reunion Dreama finally understands why husband Floyd has been so obsessed with a runaway cousin theyre taking care of (Monroe). Two outsiders record their experiences in The Long-Haired Dictionary and The Shoe Woman. In the first, a visiting academic cynically uses a locally born colleague as a way of getting a grasp on the place while seducing her; and in the second, a snobbish professor is humbled when shes asked by an illiterate, dying woman to read her sons letters. Other stories limn the genesis of a girls basketball team (Guard Your Man); a womans search for preserved fetuses she once saw (Now With Other Pickled Animals); and, in perhaps the best, a wife finally knows why her husband, a former coach, retired to a farm (The Coach's Wife). Stories that soothe more than startle, offering gentle insights into life and living in a different place. -- Copyright 2000, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description University of Missouri Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. 228 x 153 mm. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In Brier Country, Elaine Fowler Palencia returns to Blue Valley, the fictional locale in the Appalachian foothills of eastern Kentucky that is the focus of her highly acclaimed Small Caucasian Woman. Blue Valley is a small community a town where little goes on except what is left out of history books and most of its residents are brierhoppers, as folks from Appalachia are sometimes known north of the Ohio River. Reuniting readers with characters from her first collection, Palencia continues to map her uniquely poignant territory in these sixteen new stories. A criminal on the lam in Waiting for Snow tries to make up for past transgressions even as the police are closing in. Years later, in Emus, the retired cop who was part of the chase clears his own conscience. In Guard Your Man, a high school physical-education teacher works to bring back women s basketball, which was outlawed for forty years in Kentucky. Through the eyes and minds of these various characters, we learn that people in Blue Valley are far more engaging and complex than they originally appear to be. We also learn that Blue Valley has a small college. It is here we meet Julia Bone, a haughty professor from Alabama who feels she is too good to live in Kentucky; here we eavesdrop on the private journal kept by Fenwick Radnor, the dictatorial college president; and here we search the science building for a set of embalmed fetuses that haunts the dreams of a former resident of Blue Valley. Throughout these new tales, the supernatural realm hovers behind the curtain of daily life, as in the stories of a nurse who performs a secret function in a city hospital, the eerie automobile journey of an aging salesman making his last trip, and the power of a grouping of trees known as the Three Graces. Praised by James McConkey as unique and yet part of an American tradition that includes . . . the fiction of Eudora Welty and Flannery O Connor, and reaches back to Mark Twain, Palencia is known for her trademark wit, ear for dialogue, and sense of place all of which make Brier Country a welcome addition to the folklore of Blue Valley. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780826212795

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Book Description University of Missouri Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. 228 x 153 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Brier Country, Elaine Fowler Palencia returns to Blue Valley, the fictional locale in the Appalachian foothills of eastern Kentucky that is the focus of her highly acclaimed Small Caucasian Woman. Blue Valley is a small community a town where little goes on except what is left out of history books and most of its residents are brierhoppers, as folks from Appalachia are sometimes known north of the Ohio River. Reuniting readers with characters from her first collection, Palencia continues to map her uniquely poignant territory in these sixteen new stories. A criminal on the lam in Waiting for Snow tries to make up for past transgressions even as the police are closing in. Years later, in Emus, the retired cop who was part of the chase clears his own conscience. In Guard Your Man, a high school physical-education teacher works to bring back women s basketball, which was outlawed for forty years in Kentucky. Through the eyes and minds of these various characters, we learn that people in Blue Valley are far more engaging and complex than they originally appear to be. We also learn that Blue Valley has a small college. It is here we meet Julia Bone, a haughty professor from Alabama who feels she is too good to live in Kentucky; here we eavesdrop on the private journal kept by Fenwick Radnor, the dictatorial college president; and here we search the science building for a set of embalmed fetuses that haunts the dreams of a former resident of Blue Valley. Throughout these new tales, the supernatural realm hovers behind the curtain of daily life, as in the stories of a nurse who performs a secret function in a city hospital, the eerie automobile journey of an aging salesman making his last trip, and the power of a grouping of trees known as the Three Graces. Praised by James McConkey as unique and yet part of an American tradition that includes . . . the fiction of Eudora Welty and Flannery O Connor, and reaches back to Mark Twain, Palencia is known for her trademark wit, ear for dialogue, and sense of place all of which make Brier Country a welcome addition to the folklore of Blue Valley. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780826212795

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Book Description University of Missouri Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. 228 x 153 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Brier Country, Elaine Fowler Palencia returns to Blue Valley, the fictional locale in the Appalachian foothills of eastern Kentucky that is the focus of her highly acclaimed Small Caucasian Woman. Blue Valley is a small community a town where little goes on except what is left out of history books and most of its residents are brierhoppers, as folks from Appalachia are sometimes known north of the Ohio River. Reuniting readers with characters from her first collection, Palencia continues to map her uniquely poignant territory in these sixteen new stories. A criminal on the lam in Waiting for Snow tries to make up for past transgressions even as the police are closing in. Years later, in Emus, the retired cop who was part of the chase clears his own conscience. In Guard Your Man, a high school physical-education teacher works to bring back women s basketball, which was outlawed for forty years in Kentucky. Through the eyes and minds of these various characters, we learn that people in Blue Valley are far more engaging and complex than they originally appear to be. We also learn that Blue Valley has a small college. It is here we meet Julia Bone, a haughty professor from Alabama who feels she is too good to live in Kentucky; here we eavesdrop on the private journal kept by Fenwick Radnor, the dictatorial college president; and here we search the science building for a set of embalmed fetuses that haunts the dreams of a former resident of Blue Valley. Throughout these new tales, the supernatural realm hovers behind the curtain of daily life, as in the stories of a nurse who performs a secret function in a city hospital, the eerie automobile journey of an aging salesman making his last trip, and the power of a grouping of trees known as the Three Graces. Praised by James McConkey as unique and yet part of an American tradition that includes . . . the fiction of Eudora Welty and Flannery O Connor, and reaches back to Mark Twain, Palencia is known for her trademark wit, ear for dialogue, and sense of place all of which make Brier Country a welcome addition to the folklore of Blue Valley. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780826212795

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