Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Bearing a Cross," by Joseph Bates

Here’s a story that connects with the tradition of Maupassant, Sherwood Anderson, and Faulkner in the way that small town culture is portrayed as a cautionary tale. Bates’ town of Walhalla, South Carolina reacts to 9/11 with its best intention to govern by theocracy. The first person voice achieves authority throughout with statements such as this referring to the burning towers in NYC: “… you could smell the sulfur burning off her buildings from here.” Regional authenticity in the narrator’s voice entices us into believing the chain of events of this town. But we are given more than the particular with magical insights that resonate beyond Walhalla. Read it here in Issue 2 of Stones Throw .

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