Home and Beyond, Morris Grubbs’ anthology of Kentucky short stories, is packed with literary richness: 40 stories by 40 different 20th-century Kentucky writers, arranged chronologically from Robert Penn Warren’s classic “Blackberry Winter” (1946) to Crystal Wilkinson’s “Humming Back Yesterday” (1999). The stories are all about movement, both literal and metaphorical. Many—like Elizabeth Hardwick’s “Evenings at Home” or Dave Madden’s “The World’s One Breathing”—depict Kentuckians returning home after long absences. Others—Bobbie Ann Mason’s “Residents and Transients,” Mary Ann Taylor-Hall’s “Winter Facts,” Normandi Ellis’ “Dr. Livingston’s Grotto”—portray characters on internal journeys toward self-knowledge. And some, like Gayl Jones’ “White Rat,” are voyages for the reader, unsettling trips into unexpected places. Grubbs prefaces each story with a brief biography of the writer, a list of other publications, and a one- or two-sentence summary of the story’s theme.
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