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This year, acclaimed short-story writer ZZ Packer chooses twenty distinctive stories representing the great number of voices and narratives coming out of the South. Some of the youngest and freshest talents on the literary horizonâBret Anthony Johnston, Kevin Brockmeier, Holly Goddard Jonesâaccompany well-known Southern stalwarts, including Pinckney Benedict, Clyde Edgerton, and Ron Rash. Their stories tell of life as it is now, a life not seen in romanticized Southern fiction, one where existenceâboth urban and ruralâis as raw and risky as it is alluring. The energy of this collection courses through every one of Packer's edgy, funny, and gritty selections.