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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. Back cover copy From the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of Serena and The Cove, thirty-four 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. Rash brilliantly illuminates the tensions between the traditional and the modern, the old and new south, tenderness and violence, man and nature.
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Though his focus is regional, the themes of Rash's work are universal, striking an emotional chord that resonates deep within our lives. Something Rich and Strange showcases this acclaimed master's artistry and craftsmanship in thirty-two stories culled from his previously published collections and two available for the first time in book form: "Outlaws" and "Shiloh.
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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Review Text 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 show more.
Review quote "Short story lovers would be hard-pressed to find a better release this year than Ron Rash's Something Rich and Strange. Throughout this masterful collection Rash brings authority and compassion to a broad range of mountain folk Rash's stories may have heart, but they also flash some formidable teeth. Rating details.
Rob Neufeld: 35 years captured in Rash short story book
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And Rash just keeps on writing. His sixth novel, Above the Waterfall, will be published in September The Ron Rash Reader is a page collection spanning all the genres Rash has worked in. Editor Randall Wilhelm has taken on the daunting task of extracting from the author's fourteen books published in only twenty years what the publisher calls a "best of' collection that represents the "full range" of Rash's career. And since Rash has published poetry, short stories, and novels, often alternately, readers can now see the variety of his work in one book, genre by genre.
The arrangement sets off what Wilhelm calls "Rash's recycling methods" 15 , a "nuanced and subtle weaving" of thematic material 5. In his excellent introduction "Blood Memory," Wilhelm states that the "carefully chosen selections exhibit some of the best of Rash's work" 5. Although the exact basis of Wilhelm's selections is never explained, the novel samples make sense. We are introduced to the first chapter of each novel.
I would have liked to see more poems included, and while the selection of short stories can be debated, what is here is certainly excellent and representative of Rash's full body of work.
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In just under thirty pages, Wilhelm's introduction lays out an impressively detailed overview of Rash's books. Wilhelm shows deft insight into the finest details of Rash's poetry, suggesting his progress as a writer and summing up the general themes of his body of work: the focus on the natural world specifically Appalachia and its people, the recovering of the region's lost voices, an examination of "the lonely spaces of the human heart" 4 , despair met with courage, hope, and love, a fight against the tired stereotypes of his region, an increasing concern for drug abuse, and, as Wilhelm is keen to point out, an often overlooked humor that draws on the best of the tradition of Southern humorists.
While the introduction admirably covers important matters of style, genre, poetics, inspiration, and themes, I disagreed with his reading of The Cove as "a thriller" and was surprised that war was hardly mentioned in the discussion of the novel.
On a more general note, the issue of gender remains largely untouched in Wilhelm's exploration of Rash's oeuvre. Apart from already published work, the collection also features four previously uncollected pieces of nonfiction dated broadly as as well as five previously uncollected short stories also dated broadly, as
Related Something Rich and Strange: Selected Stories
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