This collection brings together twenty-one stories by women who grew up in the South and have published important fiction in the last decade. It is the first such collection of fiction by southern women, and it comes at a time when southern women writers can see themselves as part of a distinguished and distinctive tradition. Collected here are stories that represent the variety of southern life—from house trailers to condominiums, from rural to urban settings. They analyze, often explicitly from a woman's point of view, the dailiness of life, the nature of living within a social fabric that may seem hopelessly torn but that someone must repair. Although they vary significantly in tone and focus, common themes emerge—families, their food and communal culture; their disintegration and reconstitution in a changing culture; and relationships between women and men, between mothers and children, between women, between the classes. Often unassuming in tone, but always technically accomplished, these stories indicate the breadth and power of current writing by southern women.
Mary Ellis Gibson is associate professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.