National Book Award Finalist: A stunning collection of Southern short fiction by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Keepers of the House. A family hides its poverty behind a façade of gentility. A mysterious stranger sows discord in a backwoods hamlet. A man leaves prison only to be drawn back into the darkness of his past. A young bride faces the choice of informing on her husband and his family or enduring a lifetime of deceit. These nine stories by Pulitzer Prize winner Shirley Ann Grau traverse the landscape of the American South, from New Orleans to the Louisiana bayou to the pine woods of Alabama, but their true territory is universal: the mysteries of the human heart. A dazzling portrait of the lovers and the criminals, the rich and the outcasts of the Deep South, these tales of passion, conflict, and destiny come from “a born writer if ever there was one ... One reads these haunting, strikingly original stories with pleasure and excitement, enthralled by their power, amused by their melancholy irony” (The New York Times). This ebook features an illustrated biography of Shirley Ann Grau, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.