Ron Rash's New Book

By Blue Ridge Books | Jan 31, 2013

Ron Rash will read from his new book, Nothing Gold Can Stay: Stories, on Monday, February 25th at 6:30 pm at Blue Ridge Books.  The release date for the new book is February 19.  Books can be pre-ordered at Blue Ridge Books.

We will be offering reserved seating with the advance purchase of a copy of Nothing Gold Can Stay.  Drop by the bookstore to purchase your copy and receive 2 tickets for reserved seating.  You may attend the event without purchasing a book, but seating will be limited due to space.

Acclaimed equally for his penetrating novels and his haunting and lyrical short stories, Ron Rash is recognized as one of the most distinctive and significant American writers at work today. The fourteen haunting and lyrical stories in his new collection, NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY, further solidify that literary reputation. Rooted in the rugged Appalachian landscape Rash has claimed as his singular literary terrain, the stories span its history from the Civil War to the present. Lending his accustomed insight into the inner lives of those who inhabit this pocket of America, this “writer of quiet and stunning beauty” (Huffington Post) explores the yearnings, failures, foibles, and sometimes violent actions of an array of meticulously-wrought, indelibly real characters.

The collection opens with “The Trusty,” a story that first appeared in The New Yorker in

which a convict working on a road crew, sent to fetch water, insinuates himself with a sheltered farm wife, using her to plan his escape through the gap. That story ends in violence, as does “Where the Map Ends,” when two runaway slaves escaping northward seek refuge on an isolated farm, encountering a grief-stricken, perhaps mad, farmer who displays both mercy and retribution. There is mean justice, too, in “A Servant of History,” a darkly comic story in which a British folklorist suffers the consequences of an ancient feud between clans.

The outside world intruding into sequestered lives figures in many of the stories. In “The Magic Bus,” set in the 1960s, a farm girl helps a hippie couple stranded by the side of the road, and the possibility of a different future that these interlopers carry with them leads to an unexpected calamity. The drowning of a teenage girl, visiting from Nebraska, will haunt the diver sent into the river to find her in “Something Rich and Strange.” An anxious blue-collar couple in a liberal college town quietly wait for their soldier daughter’s tour of duty to end in the “Twenty-Six Days,” an inspired work of understated concision that first appeared in The Washington Post.

Central to many of the stories are characters who struggle with difficult choices spurred by hardship: A couple hope that gambling winnings will get them back on solid ground in “Cherokee.”  A college boy chooses between a different future or his meth-addict high school girlfriend in “Those Who Are Dead Are Only Now Forgiven.” Two petty drug-addicted thieves decide to rob an old man who gave them work when they were boys in the title story. In “The Dowry”—another Civil War-era story— a young man who fought for the Union contemplates a horrific sacrifice in order to placate the Confederate father of the girl he loves.

“Ron Rash is a writer of both the darkly beautiful and the sadly true,” says Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Russo, and The Washington Post has said that his short stories find “a narrow sweet spot between Raymond Carver’s minimalism and William Faulkner’s Gothic.” NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY is vintage Ron Rash—and a welcome addition to his masterful body of work.


Ron Rash is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels THE COVE and SERENA (a 2009 PEN/Faulkner Finalist), in addition to three other prize-winning novels, ONE FOOT IN EDEN, SAINTS AT THE RIVER, and THE WORLD MADE STRAIGHT; three collections of poems; and four previous collections of stories, among them BURNING BRIGHT, which won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and CHEMISTRY AND OTHER STORIES, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.

 For more information, call Blue Ridge Books at 456-6000