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  1. - I Hate To See That Evening Sun Go Down: Collected Stories by William Gay
  3. Publisher's Summary
  4. An Interview with William Gay

- I Hate To See That Evening Sun Go Down: Collected Stories by William Gay

Gay was born in and has long lived in rural Tennessee, employed at various blue-collar trades. He seems to have no deep affiliation with any institution of higher learning; instead, his career has come about in the manner of authors of old, finding his own means to keep himself afloat while learning to write.

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  • That Evening Sun |

His first novel, ''The Long Home,'' was published in and revealed an already high level of artistic maturity. He followed that novel with another, equally adroit, called ''Provinces of Night. When the stories in this collection are read front to back, it's not their range that impresses so much as it is their depth of feeling. They can be gothic, funny, violent, romantic and stark, yet they're always compassionate. Gay's protagonists tend to have a number of things in common: most are male, working class if they work , at ease with liquor and the vices that serve as an accompaniment to drink, familiar with the baffling ways of romance but slow to become wise to them.

Several stories feature characters who find that by making one slight misjudgment and following it with another, they quickly slide from a merely befuddled existence into something truly wretched. It sort of happened to me a little at a time. These stories are set in or near the Tennessee countryside, amid a rough-hewn population. Several take their shape from elements of crime.


In fact, there is violence -- and violent death -- throughout the collection. It usually comes about almost casually, reflexively, but behind it there's often a sort of Old Testament rationale, skewed and no longer accepted by society but remembered and resorted to under stress. Young girls take potshots at their boyfriends, fathers snuff out young men who keep company with their daughters, men and women alike reach full boil and suddenly let rip.

In the most unsettling story, ''The Paperhanger,'' a murder occurs in a flash, merely because of a toddler's haughty expression: ''He remembered the look on the child's face. She stuck her tongue out at him. His hand snaked out like a serpent and closed on her throat and snapped her neck before he could call it back. Gay has clearly been formed by the Southern literary tradition, but his stories feature characters who would be recognizable in most other parts of the world.

Some are old men who once farmed but are powerless in the face of changing ways and lost without that attachment to the land; others are a generation removed from working a plow or reading the sky for signs of the weather and now must make their way in a shifting culture not based on any familiar social order. Many are people who have intense emotions they can't quite acknowledge, let alone gain access to. They make hasty choices that are appropriate to a world they're not living in anymore and disastrous in this one. Your order is also backed by our In-Stock Guarantee!

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Search Results Results 1 of Free Press. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Used - Good. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Used - Very Good.

Publisher's Summary

Very Good condition. Good dust jacket.

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Free Press, Ask about discounted shipping available when multiple items are purchased at the same time. Bookseller: briansmonky , Massachusetts, United States Seller rating:. Used book in good condition. Has wear to the cover and pages. Contains some markings such as highlighting and writing.

Ex-library with the usual stamps. Very Good. Used book in very good condition. Some cover wear, may contain a few marks. Excellent condition. Interior is tight, bright and clean; no underlining, notes or highlighting.

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Hard covers are tight and stiff. Complete with original and sticker free paper dust cover. All items are carefully enclosed with bubble wrap. We ship promptly and worldwide via US Post and will email you a tracking number. Ships with Tracking Number! May not contain Access Codes or Supplements.

An Interview with William Gay

May be ex-library. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service! Gay, William. Book condition: Fine in fine dust jacket. New York:: Free Press,, Fine in fine dust jacket.. First printing. First collection of short stories by this highly praised Tennessee writer preceded by two novels. Contains thirteen stories in which he "sets these conflicted people who make bad choices in life and love against a lush back-country setting, and somehow manages to defy moral logic as we grow to love his characters for the weight of their human errors. Bookseller: Bookfever.