In the twenty years of its existence, the second series of the Southern Review continued the editorial orientation of the first series by presenting a range of regional and cosmopolitan works of fiction. This anthology is a collection of twenty-five short stories from the nearly three hundred published in the journal between 1965 and 1985. The editors have sought to illustrate the diversity of subject matter and the tremendous range of tone, voice, and technique that have characterized short fiction in the Southern Review.
Although many of the contributors to Selected Stories from the âSouthern Reviewâ are southern, the collection also includes national and international, new and established writers. The focus of the anthology is on literary merit rather than regional considerations. âAbroadâ by Nadine Gordimer, which depicts the experiences of a white South African visiting his son in Zimbabwe, is in the collection, along with John William Corringtonâs âPleadings,â the powerful account of an incident in the life of a south Louisiana attorney. Mary Lavinâs âThe Face of Hateâ addresses life amidst the conflict in Northern Ireland, and Elizabeth Spencerâs âThe Cousinsâ explores the entanglements and coming of age of five young adults on a European vacation. Joyce Carol Oatesâs âDÃ©tenteâ interweaves the personal and political aspects of a Soviet-American literary conference, and Robb Forman Dew follows the adventures of two naive Natchez girls in New Orleans in âTwo Girls Wearing Perfume in the Summer.â
From Louis D. Rubinâs tentative young newspaperman in âThe St. Anthony Choraleâ to William Millsâs sure-footed X-ray technician in âSweet Tickfaw Run Softly, Till I End My Song,â from Rita Doveâs compelling âSecondhand Manâ to John E. Wildemanâs Satirical âSurfictionââthese are characters and stories from the new series of the Southern Review which offer resounding proof that the brilliant publishing tradition originating with Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren has been preserved by a magazine that still maintains its national literary reputation.
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