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In The Valley

Ron Rash

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*Named a Garden & Gun and Atlanta Journal Constitution best book of the year*

*Winner of the 2020 Thomas Robinson Prize for Southern Literature*

“Mesmerizing...In the Valley takes Serena to such a fever pitch of destruction that in a lesser writer’s hands it might seem overheated. But Rash maintains the deep keel that has always distinguished him…He’s one of the best living American writers, and his laconic understatement is much more powerful than excess…Haunting and darkly funny.”

—Janet Maslin, New York Times Book Review

“One of the great American authors at work today” (The New York Times) gives us a short story collection of haunting allegories about the times we live in—from the perils of capitalism to the extraordinary acts of decency and heroism that exist within them—and the return of the villainess who propelled Rash’s famed Serena to national acclaim.

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.

In these ten stories, Rash, “a gorgeous, brutal writer” (Richard Price) working at the height of his powers, has created a mesmerizing look at the imperfect world around us, from the severing of ties to the natural world in the relentless hunt for profit to the destruction of body and soul with pills meant to mute our pain.

Rash’s stories are unforgettable—“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.