Author(s): Breece D'J. Pancake
The stories in this collection nearly all take place in and around the mountain hollows of West Virginia: a world of cock-fighting, coal-mining, deer-stalking, sex, depression, drinking and death. "It would be easy to allow his one collection of stories to be buried under the landslide of books published every year. But it's worth doing a little excavating to dig it up. The past few years have seen late-in-the-day and posthumous revivals of interest in writers such...John Williams. Get out your pickaxes". (New Yorker).
The best, most sincere writer I've ever read' Kurt Vonnegut A lost classic of twentieth century American fiction. In 1983 the posthumous publication of this book - a collection of stories that depict, with astonishing power and grace, the world of Pancake's native rural West Virginia - electrified the literary world with a force that still resounds across two decades.
"The best, most sincere writer I've ever read" -- Kurt Vonnegut "Breece D'J Pancake left behind an astonishing achievement. He was a master of a distinctly American vernacular, which he used to remind us of all the ways that fiction could teach us about ourselves. These stories are absolutely essential reading" Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds "This is an exceptional voice; gritty, mordant, invested with the texture of stroked reality; urgent and haunting" Margaret Atwood "Muscular, precise, lyric and unforgettable... Utterly singular" -- Eileen Battersby Irish Times
Breece D'J Pancake was born in in Charleston, West Virginia in 1952. His unusual middle name 'D'J' originated from a misprint of Pancake's middle initials by The Atlantic Monthly (D.J. for Dexter John) when Pancake's first published story, 'Trilobites' was published in 1977. Pancake decided not to correct it. In 1979, when he was just twenty-six, Pancake died from a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. He was buried in Milton, Virginia.