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Expecting Goodness & Other Stories

Expecting Goodness & Other Stories

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When renowned fiction editor C. Michael Curtis moved from Boston to a small Southern college town to accept a distinguished chair in the English department, he assumed he'd be far away from a literary center. But Curtis, long-time fiction editor of The Atlantic and self-professed habitual anthologist, found himself in a pocket of extraordinary writers in Spartanburg, South Carolina, home of the Hub City Writers Project. The venerable literary editor's exploration of his new city has led to the publication of Expecting Goodness, a collection of 20 Southern short stories by both established and up-and-coming authors who share the same hometown.The title story by Michael S. Stone transpires in an airport as a hesitant young husband begins his journey toward an adopted child. In Rosa Shand's heartbreaking "Sweetness," a 15-year-old Charleston girl discovers her mother's lesbian love affair ("I knew we were all in hell," she says). Two teenage boys looking for a good time encounter a deadbeat, aging Jack Kerouac in Deno Trakas's "Pretty Pitiful God." There's levity in this collection, too; in Lou Dischler's offbeat "Lola's Prayer," a file clerk believes she has lost a pregnant chinchilla up the tailpipe of her Toyota.Among contributors are Thomas McConnell, author of the story collection A Picture Book of Hell (Texas Tech University Press); National Public Radio producer Thomas Pierce; Susan Tekulve, whose collection My Mother's War Stories received the Winnow Press Fiction Prize; and Elizabeth Cox, author of A Slow Moon (Random House, 2001). Expect goodness from all of them.