Michael Wing's Reviews > Burning Bright: Stories
Burning Bright: Stories
by Ron Rash
by Ron Rash
Michael Wing's review
Aug 20, 10
Susan picked this up at The Gardiner library, and I had not read any short stories this summer. Although not a YAL, I remember several students enjoying the short stories of Steinbeck and Hemingway. Set primarily in the Smokey Mountains, the stories range from Civil War to today's meth labs. Each tale involves a strong characterization of men, women and children in conflict with their environment and the perils of poverty. For instance, an emotionally damaged child of meth addicts wanders the woods and finds a recent plane crash. He robs the bodies of their valuables to support his addicted mother and father, returns one last time to the crash site, and lets himself go in the cold plane,, imagining flying it away. "The Ascent" is too sad. Other folklore comes into play addressing home remedies and superstitions of Appalachia. Rash's style and subtle treatment of tragic characters is excellent, and the short story form hopefully will appeal to students who may not hold onto the novel line over a long period of time.
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