Join us on August 6th at 7 PM for a virtual conversation with local bestselling author Ron Rash as he discusses his new story collection, In the Valley. This collection consists of ten new stories and a novella based on his bestselling novel, Serena. We are proud to host Ron Rash side by side with City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC.
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.
“Rash’s lyrical, atmospheric collection, with its strong sense of place, will appeal to readers of Rick Bragg and Jesmyn Ward.”
—Booklist (starred review)
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.
"At turns dark, craggy, and heart-wrenching, Rash's writing is never easy, but it is also lovely, moving, and rich in history and culture, just like the Appalachian region it so beautiful captures."
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.