Mason Jars in the Flood & Other Stories (Paperback)
This wonderful collection of 29 short stories and three poems is something of a change for Gary. His earlier publications include several plays and two books as co-writer: Belled Buzzards, Hucksters & Grieving Spectres: Appalachian Tales, Strange, True & Legendary with Nina Anderson and Papa's Angels: A Christmas Story with Collin Wilcox Paxton. Here for the first time is a collection of Gary's stories written entirely in his own voice. In his introduction Gary implies that he struggled to move his stories from a lifetime of performance to the published page with no live audience to engage. Reading these stories, one would be hard pressed to find evidence of any struggle; the transition from the storyteller's stage to written word is seamless. Readers will get a distinct impression of Gary's voice with its implicit, often deadpan, humor even when telling a few of the grimmer tales. The first section of the book is comprised of the semi-autobiographical Harley Stories. The first of these is "Mason Jars in the Flood," in which young Harley sends notes in his grandmother's canning jars swirling off into the waters of a branch in Rhodes Cove during the flood of 1940. Gary says this is a metaphor for this book, in which he sends his stories off to unknown readers. This audience is in for a real treat.— Chris
Mason Jars in the Flood is a collection of stories by an eminent storyteller, Gary Carden. The Appalachian Writers Association said, "The Appalachian Writers Association said that Mason Jars in the Flood has a true, consistent voice and that there is an unforced, genuine feel to the events described by the author. In addition, Mason Jars in the Flood has a strong resonance of Appalachian spirit which remembers, in times of greatest happiness, ones who cannot share its joy, and, conversely, its sadness never obliterates the pleasure it once had. Gary Carden's work reflects the Appalachian culture which depends on a melancholy-tinged hope and whose people work under a resilience instilled in them from a tradition of necessity and faith." The Association selected Mason Jars as the Book of the Year in 2000.
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