Book picks similar to
Bats Out of Hell by Barry Hannah


short-stories
fiction
american
southern

Fast Lanes


Jayne Anne Phillips - 1984
    Jayne Anne Phillips has always been a master of portraiture, both in her widely acclaimed novels and in her short fiction.  The stories in Fast Lanes demonstrated the breadth of her talent in a tour de force of voices, offering elegantly rendered views into the lives of characters torn between the liberation of detachment and the desire to connect.Three stories are collected in this edition for the first time: in "Alma," and adolescent daughter is made the confidante of her lonely mother; "Counting" traces the history of a dommed love affair; and "Callie" evokes memories of the haunting death of a child in 1920's West Virginia.  Along with the original seven stories from Fast Lanes--each told in extraordinary first person narratives that have been hailed by critics as virtuoso performances--these incandescent portraits offer windows into the lives of an entire generation of Americans, demonstrating again and again why Jayne Anne Phillips remains one of our most powerful writers.

Novels 1936–1940: Absalom, Absalom! / The Unvanquished / If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem / The Hamlet


William Faulkner - 1990
    They explore the tragic and comic aspects of a South haunted by its past and uncertain of its future.In the intricate, spellbinding masterpiece Absalom, Absalom! (1936), Quentin Compson descends into a vortex of images, voices, passions, and doomed desires as he and his Harvard roommate re-create the story of Thomas Sutpen and the insane ambitions, romantic hopes, and distortions of honor and conscience that trap Sutpen and those around him, until their grief and pride and fate become the inescapable and unbearable legacy of a past that is not dead and not even past.In seven episodes, The Unvanquished (1938) recounts the ordeals and triumphs of the Sartoris family during and after the Civil War as seen through the maturing consciousness of young Bayard Sartoris. The indomitable Granny Millard, the honor-driven patriarch Colonel Sartoris, the quick-witted and inventive Ringo, the ferociously heroic Drusilla, and the scheming, mendacious Ab Snopes embody the inheritance that Bayard must reconcile with a new, but diminished, South.If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem (published in 1939 as The Wild Palms) tells of desperate lovers fleeing convention and of a convict escaping the chaos of passion. In “The Wild Palms,” an emotional and geographic odyssey ends in a Mississippi coastal town. In counterpoint, “Old Man” recounts the adventures of an inarticulate “tall convict” swept to freedom by a raging Mississippi flood, but who then fights to return to his simple prison life.In The Hamlet (1940), the first book of the great Snopes family trilogy, the outrageous scheming energy of Flem Snopes and his relatives is vividly and hilariously juxtaposed with the fragile communal customs of Frenchman’s Bend. Here are Ike Snopes, in love with a cow, the sexual adventures of Eula Varner Snopes, and the wild saturnalia of the spotted horses auction, a comic masterpiece.The Library of America edition of Faulkner’s work publishes for the first time new, corrected texts of The Unvanquished, If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem, and The Hamlet. (The corrected text of Absalom, Absalom! was published by Random House in 1986.) Manuscripts, typescripts, galleys, and published editions have been collated to produce versions that are faithful to Faulkner’s intentions and free of the changes introduced by subsequent editors.

One Arm and Other Stories


Tennessee Williams - 1948
    It was this book which established Williams as a short story writer of the same stature and interest he had shown as a dramatist. Each story has qualities that make it memorable. In “One Arm” we live through his last hours and memories with a 'rough trade" ex-prizefighter who is awaiting execution for murder. "The Field of Blue Children" explores some of the strange ways of the human heart in love, "Portrait of a Girl in Glass" is a luminous and nostalgic recollection of characters who figure in "The Glass Menagerie," while "Desire and the Black Masseur" is an excursion into the logic of the macabre. "The Yellow Bird," well known through the author's recorded reading of it, which tells of a minister's daughter who found a particularly violent but satisfactory way of expiating a load of inherited puritan guilt, may well become part of American mythology.

Souls Raised from the Dead


Doris Betts - 1994
    Armed with courage, humor, and a shaky faith in God, the family and their friends face a most devastating event--the slow death of a beloved child.

The Stories of J.F. Powers


J.F. Powers - 2000
    F. Powers, who died in 1999, stands with Eudora Welty, Flannery O'Connor, and Raymond Carver among the authors who have given the short story an unmistakably American cast. In three slim collections of perfectly crafted stories, published over a period of some thirty years and brought together here in a single volume for the first time, Powers wrote about many things: baseball and jazz, race riots and lynchings, the Great Depression, and the flight to the suburbs. His greatest subject, however—and one that was uniquely his—was the life of priests in Chicago and the Midwest. Powers's thoroughly human priests, who include do-gooders, gladhanders, wheeler-dealers, petty tyrants, and even the odd saint, struggle to keep up with the Joneses in a country unabashedly devoted to consumption.These beautifully written, deeply sympathetic, and very funny stories are an unforgettable record of the precarious balancing act that is American life.Table of ContentsThe Lord's DayThe TroubleLions, Harts, Leaping DoesJamesieHe Don't Plant CottonThe ForksRennerThe Valiant WomanThe EyeThe Old Bird, A Love StoryPrince of DarknessDawnDeath of a FavoriteThe Poor ThingThe Devil Was the JokeA Losing GameDefection of a FavoriteZealBlue IslandThe Presence of GraceLook How the Fish LiveBillFolksKeystoneOne of ThemMoonshotPriestly FellowshipFarewellPhariseesTinkers

State of Grace


Joy Williams - 1973
    It is the story of Kate, despised by her mother, bound to her father by ties stronger and darker than blood. It is the story of her attempted escapes−in detached sexual encounters, at a Southern college populated by spoiled and perverse beauties, and in a doomed marriage to a man who cannot understand what she is running from. Witty, erotic, searing acute, STATE OF GRACE bears the inimitable stamp of one of our fines and most provocative writers.

On the River Styx and Other Stories


Peter Matthiessen - 1989
    Since the 1950s Peter Matthiessen has written fiction and nonfiction of elemental power and moral vision, including the acclaimed novels At Play in the Fields of the Lord and Far Tortuga and works of naturalism and exploration like the National Book Award-winning The Snow Leopard.This stunning collection of short stories, available for the first time in paperback, spans more than three decades of writing by one of the most acclaimed literary voices of our time.

The Courts of Love: Stories


Ellen Gilchrist - 1996
    Now living happily in Berkeley, married and the mother of twins, Nora Jane is back in college, pregnant again, launching a new career, and facing circumstances that imperil her domestic bliss.The nine stories that follow explore the hazards of recapturing and reviving old affairs. Featuring both new and familiar Gilchrist characters, all of these stories shed brilliant new light on the oldest emotion.

Selected Stories of Eudora Welty: A Curtain of Green And Other Stories / The Wide Net and Other Stories


Eudora Welty - 1943
    'I've stayed in one place, ' she says, and 'it's become the source of the information that stirs my imagination'. Her distinctive voice and wry observations are rooted in the southern conversational tradition. The stories in this volume, from the first two collections she published, range in tone from the quietly understated and psychologically subtle to the outrageously grotesque.

The Night the New Jesus Fell to Earth and Other Stories from Cliffside, North Carolina


Ron Rash - 1994
    Like the best Southern writers, Ron Rash gives us funny without cornpone, irony without mockery, charm without sentimentality.

The Burning House


Ann Beattie - 1982
    Her characters are young men and women discovering what it means to be a grown-up in a country that promised them they'd stay young forever. And here, in shapely, penetrating stories, Beattie confirms why she is one of the most widely imitated -- yet surely inimitable -- literary stylists of her generation.In The Burning House, Beattie's characters go from dealing drugs to taking care of a bereaved friend. They watch their marriages fail not with a bang but with a wisecrack. And afterward, they may find themselves trading confidences with their spouses' new lovers. The Burning House proves that Beattie has no peer when it comes to revealing the hidden shapes of our relationships, or the depths of tenderness, grief, and anger that lie beneath the surfaces of our daily lives.

The Rainbow Stories


William T. Vollmann - 1989
    Burroughs comes thirteen unnerving and often breathtaking stories populated by punks and angels, skinheads and religious assassins, streetwalkers and fetishists--people who live outside the law and and the clear light of the every day. Set in landscapes as diverse as ancient Babylon, India, and the seamy underbelly of San Francisco, these daring and innovative tales are laced with Vollman's fertile imagination. The Rainbow Stories ushers us into a world that bears an awful yet hypnotic resemblance to that of our deepest nightmares, confirming Vollmann's reputation as a dark visionary of contemporary fiction.

The Consumer


Michael Gira - 1995
    It's a collection of short pieces -- sort of like stories, but more like wild fantasies -- that take surrealistic organ distortions, drug-infused hallucinatory sexual nightmares and grotesque organic urban-machinery delusions, to whole new levels of "Whoa! Can't believe I'm actually eating lunch while reading this." Reminiscent of J. G. Ballard in his Crash/Atrocity Exhibition phase, or else J. K. Huysmans on an ether binge in Los Angeles.

The Stories (So Far)


Deborah Eisenberg - 1997
    Her characters, whether they are walking in the streets of Manhattan or seemingly abandoned in foreign countries, continually make disquieting and sometimes life-threatening discoveries about themselves, discoveries that illuminate not only their own lives but also the wider net of relationships in which they are enmeshed.

Hill William


Scott McClanahan - 2013
    He wants you to feel something too."—The Huffington PostI walked up to the side of the mountain like I used to do when I was a little boy. I looked out over Rainelle and watched it shine. The coal trucks and the logging trucks were still gunning it through town. They were still clear cutting the mountains and cutting the coal from the ground. Then I heard my mother calling and it was like I was a child again.Beginning to read Hill William is like tuning into a blues station at 4:00 a.m. while driving down the highway. Scott McClanahan's work soars with a brisk and lively plainsong, offering a boisterous peek into a place often passed over in fiction: West Virginia, where coal and heartbreak reign supreme. Hill William testifies to the way place creates and sometimes stifles one's ability to hope. It reads like a Homeric hymn to adventure, to the human comedy's upsets and small downfalls, and revels in its whispers of victory. So grab coffee, beer—whatever gets you through the night—and join Scott around the hearth. Lend him your ear, but be warned: you might not want it back.Scott McClanahan's work has appeared in New York Tyrant, Bomb, Vice, and Harper Perennial's Fifty-Two Stories. His books include Stories II and Stories V! In 2013 Two Dollar Radio will release his book Crapalachia.