Fiction. Though Robert Morgan has for a long time now lived on the northernmost fringes of Appalachia in Ithaca, New York, his heart and his pen (well, his keyboard more likely now) have ever belonged to his native North Carolina. In this latest collection of short stories, his clear-eyed affection for and deep knowledge of the people and places and lore and landscape of the region are again in evidence. The finely observed details that form the backdrop for the little dramas here are so deftly rendered, the language so natural, that it's easy to overlook the artistry, the master touch, the brushstrokes too fine to notice. Simply life on a page. But that's merely the setting for another memorable cast of Morgan characters and situations, which here include a widower finding a new possibility of life (and sex) in a retirement community; a doctor who enlists his friends to catch his wife in flagrante delicto; an Episcopal priest surprised to find his pastoral duties include sheltering a group of nudists from a mob (this alone is worth the price of admission!); and many more. It has become fashionable in today's politics to parse the "real America" of Appalachia. Robert Morgan has always known the heartland folk, his people, warts and all. Reading these stories, their stories, though written as fiction, makes a better introduction than any stack of facts — alternative or not."Morgan displays an impressive command of American history and of language in this collection of new and selected stories. Arranged chronologically, from the 16th century to the present, each tale embraces a strong, authentic voice; Morgan's narrative range is remarkable."—Publishers Weekly
Robert Morgan is the author of fourteen books of poetry, most recently Terroir and Dark Energy. He has published twelve volumes of fiction, including Gap Creek, a selection of Oprah's Book Club and a New York Times bestseller. His sequel to Gap Creek, The Road from Gap Creek, received the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. He is also the author of the nonfiction books Boone: A Biography and Lions of the West: Heroes and Villains of the Westward Expansion.Morgan has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Arts Council and has been awarded the Academy Award in Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, he has been inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. Morgan was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina in 1944, and taught at Cornell University from 1971 to 2022.