Winners of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, O. Henry Award and Edgar Awards, the 19 writers in this 2005 edition are not just considered some of the best Southern writers, but among the best American writers period. With works by such writers as Dennis Lehane, Moira Crone, Robert Olen Butler, Cary Holladay, Tom Franklin, and Rebecca Soppe, this collection provides an electrifying current of deep, dark subjects set in the brutal, but charming south.
It's the summer of 1967 and in Glen Allen, Virginia, something is happening. Nine-year-old Shirley isn't sure exactly what, though. More and more it seems her mother wants them to do nothing at all. But as her older sister Patty's 12th birthday approaches, Shirley can sense change looming on the horizon and is convinced it's up to her to protect her family.
By turns comic and tragic, this novella centers on Sophie Floyd, a young woman who works at a Confederate Veterans Home in Culpeper, Va. It is 1913, and Sophie is in love with two doctors, the earnest and respectable Doc Minor, and the mysterious Dr. Satterfield, who supplies morphine to addicts. Dr. Satterfield pronounces an old man dead, only to have the man revive, celebrate at a brothel, and tell the press. The hardworking Sophie must tend the Home's elderly Matron while she decides which man she really loves.
An army surgeon must amputate a soldier's leg in a crude field hospital during the Civil War. The doctor is so skilled that he accomplishes most of the operation in a mere 40 seconds - an assistant times the procedure - yet his mind is consumed with thoughts of the personal toll the war has taken on him.
"Poignant, beautiful story"
Janet works as a telephone operator in 1950s Richmond, Va. When she patches through a call for help from a child reporting an intruder at an isolated farm, she realizes she knows the family. Enlisting the help of the man she desires, she makes an emergency trip to help someone in danger - or is it, really, to help herself?
"Love the quirky details!"
Based on a real-life event - the release of Georgia convicts to fight the advancing Federal troops - this Civil War story follows one of the freed men, Sam Coulter, into battle and beyond. His postwar search for an old comrade leads unexpectedly to love and happiness.