In the Valley: Stories and a Novella Based on Serena (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

While Ron Rash is a great poet and novelist, I consider him the finest living writer of English-language short stories. Too bold a claim, you say? Pick up In the Valley and try any one of these remarkable stories. Even if you're one of those many fans of fiction who tell themselves that they don't like the shorter form, I think you'll be bowled over by Rash's remarkable gift to succinctly capture whole lives in the span of a few pages. Don't read the title novella until you've read his masterpiece novel, Serena, from 2008. 

— Chris Wilcox


*Named a Garden & Gun and Atlanta Journal Constitution best book of the year*

Winner of the 2020 Thomas Robinson Prize for Southern Literature

Mesmerizing...He's one of the best living American writers.--Janet Maslin, New York Times Book Review

From bestselling and award-winning writer Ron Rash (One of the great American authors at work today.--The New York Times) comes a collection of ten searing stories and the return of the villainess who propelled Serena to national acclaim, in a long-awaited novella.

Ron Rash has long been a revered presence in the landscape of American letters. A virtuosic novelist, poet, and story writer, he evokes the beauty and brutality of the land, the relentless tension between past and present, and the unquenchable human desire to be a little bit better than circumstances would seem to allow (to paraphrase Faulkner).

In these ten stories, Rash spins a haunting allegory of the times we live in--rampant capitalism, the severing of ties to the natural world in the relentless hunt for profit, the destruction of body and soul with pills meant to mute our pain--and yet within this world he illuminates acts of extraordinary decency and heroism. Two of the stories have already been singled out for accolades: Baptism was chosen by Roxane Gay for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories 2018, and Neighbors was selected by Jonathan Lethem for The Best American Mystery Stories 2019. And in revisiting Serena Pemberton, Rash updates his bestselling parable of greed run amok as his deliciously vindictive heroine returns to the North Carolina wilderness she left scarred and desecrated to make one final effort to kill the child that threatens all she has accomplished.

A gorgeous, brutal writer (Richard Price) working at the height of his powers, Ron Rash has created another mesmerizing look at the imperfect world around us.

About the Author

RON RASH is the author of the PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestselling novel Serena, in addition to the critically acclaimed novels The Risen, Above the Waterfall, 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, Nothing Gold Can Stay, a New York Times bestseller, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize and winner of the 2019 Sidney Lanier Prize for Southern Literature, he is the Parris Distinguished Professor in Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University and lives in Clemson, SC.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780525564225
ISBN-10: 0525564225
Publisher: Anchor Books
Publication Date: July 13th, 2021
Pages: 240
Language: English

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