I Got Somebody in Staunton
In twelve graceful, sensual stories, William Henry Lewis traces the line between the real and the imaginary, acknowledging the painful ghosts of the past in everyday encounters. Written in a style that has been acclaimed by our finest writers, from Edward P. Jones and Nikki Giovanni to Dave Eggers, I Got Somebody in Staunton is one of the most highly praised literary events to take on contemporary America.
In the title story, a young professor befriends an enigmatic white woman in a bar along the back roads of Virginia, but has second thoughts about driving her to a neighboring town as his uncle’s stories of lynchings resonate through his mind. Another tale portrays a Kansas City jazz troupe’s travels to Denver, where they hope to strike it big. Meanwhile, a man in the midst of paradise must decide whether he will languish or thrive.
With I Got Somebody in Staunton Lewis has lyrically and unflinchingly chronicled the lives of those most often neglected.
“Lewis is an exceptionally promising new writer…intelligent and skilled and very interesting, with a sharp and compassionate eye.” “A storyteller with a superb sense of place… Evocative stories with a potent kick.” “Thoughtful, appealing…unquestionably powerful.” “Lyrical, risk-taking collection. Lewis renders beautifully the sadness of both those left behind and those who’ve done the leaving.” “Sentence by sentence, this deeply felt and lyrical collection proves that Lewis is a master of the short story.” “Lewis’s new collection of stories is tender, ironic, disturbing, and always poetic. His work is a treasure.” “These are quiet, deadly stories, beautifully rendered and exquisitely American.” “The art of the short story is seduction. And how lovely it is to visit with this amazing voice.” “Lewis beautifully renders the odd, quiet moments before and after life’s explosive events>” “Moving but unsentimental, these are stories of hard-won wisdom, potent intelligence, and compassion for the cadence of everyday life.” “Lewis’s stories of love, loss and longing have a sensuous appeal… and earn their keep in the last lines.” “Haunting, nuanced…With effortless elegance…an important reminder that…the best things are still well worth waiting for.” “Intriguing, thought-provoking collection.” “Powerful…rhythmic lilt to these stories… making plain the uncertainties of blacks in America– a subject Lewis handles with skill.” “Resplendent. The stories are beautifully written and carefully crafted.” “Lewis, master storyteller, seems less concerned with poetic language as he writes simply and powerfully of inner and exterior landscapes.” “A reader … will find plenty to love in this collection of stories.” “Magnificent description brings to life characters we all have encountered…That is the mark of an accomplished writer.” “Lewis is both an artistic and a political writer. . . . [with] a notable gift for prose poetry.” “Lewis’ language is tight and controlled, smooth even, weighted with rhythm and complexity.”
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