White People

      Allan Gurganus
White People

From Allan Gurganus, author of the beloved, bestselling Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and winner of the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, here are eleven masterful works of short fiction. First seen in The New, Yorker, Harper's, the Paris Review, Granta, and elsewhere, they are darkly comic stories and novellas about love and money among American WASPs, that majority outnumbered, outflanked, and somewhat out of love with itself.

From the Trade Paperback edition.


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    Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All

      Allan Gurganus
Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All

Allan Gurganus's Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All became an instant classic upon its publication. Critics and readers alike fell in love with the voice of ninety-nine-year-old Lucy Marsden, one of the most entertaining and loquacious heoines in American literature.

Lucy married at the turn of the last century, when she was fifteen and her husband was fifty. If Colonel William Marsden was a veteran of the "War for Southern Independence", Lucy became a "veteran of the veteran" with a unique perspective on Southern history and Southern manhood. Her story encompasses everything from the tragic death of a Confederate boy soldier to the feisty narrator's daily battles in the Home--complete with visits from a mohawk-coiffed candy-striper. Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All is proof that brilliant, emotional storytelling remains at the heart of great fiction.

From the Trade Paperback edition.


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    Local Souls

      Allan Gurganus
Local Souls

Through memorable language and bawdy humor, Gurganus returns to his mythological Falls, North Carolina, home of Widow. This first work in a decade offers three novellas mirroring today’s face-lifted South, a zone revolutionized around freer sexuality, looser family ties, and superior telecommunications, yet it celebrates those locals who have chosen to stay local. In doing so, Local Souls uncovers certain old habits—adultery, incest, obsession—still very much alive in our New South, a "Winesburg, Ohio" with high-speed Internet.
Wells Tower says of Gurganus, "No living writer knows more about how humans matter to each other." Such ties of love produce hilarious, if wrenching, complications: "Fear Not" gives us a banker's daughter seeking the child she was forced to surrender when barely fifteen, only to find an adult rescuer she might have invented. In "Saints Have Mothers," a beloved high school valedictorian disappears during a trip to Africa, granting her ambitious mother a postponed fame that turns against her. And in a dramatic "Decoy," the doctor-patient friendship between two married men breaks toward desire just as a biblical flood shatters their neighborhood and rearranges their fates.

Gurganus finds fresh pathos in ancient tensions: between marriage and Eros, parenthood and personal fulfillment. He writes about erotic hunger and social embarrassment with Twain's knife-edged glee. By loving Falls, Gurganus dramatizes the passing of Hawthorne’s small-town nation into those Twitter-nourished lives we now expect and relish.

Four decades ago, John Cheever pronounced Allan Gurganus "the most technically gifted and morally responsive writer of his generation." Local Souls confirms Cheever’s prescient faith. It deepens the luster of Gurganus’s reputation for compassion and laughter. His black comedy leaves us with lasting affection for his characters and the aching aftermath of human consequences. Here is a universal work about a village.


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