A new, short-fiction collection by West Virginia native and Potomac State College of West Virginia University English Professor Kevin C. Stewart is available from Vandalia Press (WVU Press) and from bookstores across the country.
The Way Things Always Happen Here: Eight Stories and a Novellais the Princeton natives debut book, which takes readers to the scene of a heinous murder, to the home of an alcoholic single mother, to the 1960s election campaign of JFK through West Virginia and off the side of the New River Gorge Bridge.
With eight stories set in fictional Oak County in southern West Virginia, and one novella,Margot,set in the Arkansas Ozarks, Stewart portrays characters who all love and hate where theyre from.
InOne Mississippi,two teenage boys test their friendship and face their deepest fears.The Way Things Always Happen Hereis a wrenching tale of two teenage lovers coming of age in a place that cant hold both of them.Debtspits an artistic son who has chosen basket weaving as a profession against the wishes of his father, a miner and United Mine Workers union member. The startlingJune Haypicks up again the father/son conflict.
Stewarts storieschart lush, haunted landscapes reminiscent of the best work of James Dickey or Richard Hugo,says Nic Pizzolatto, author ofBetween Here and the Yellow Sea.They are filled with menace, gritty poetry and longingThis is a significant debut by a gifted storyteller.
Stewart won the Texas Review Novella Prize forMargot,as well as numerous other awards. He holds a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the University of Arkansas, along with degrees in English, architecture and civil engineering. He is a professor of English and creative writing at Potomac State College of WVU .
The Allegany Arts Council, 52 Baltimore Street, Cumberland, Md., will host a special book release party for Stewart on Wednesday, July 11 at 6 p.m. in the Saville Gallery. A reading and book signing will follow. The event is open to the public. For more information, call 301-777-ARTS (2787).
The book is published through Vandalia Press, the literary imprint of West Virginia University Press, specializing in contemporary poetry, novels and essays. Begun in 2001, Vandalia Press publishes an average of two literary titles each year by regional writers or by other authors whose work has a strong connection to Appalachia or West Virginia. Among Vandalias authors are Richard Currey, Kevin Oderman, Priscilla A. Rodd, Valerie Nieman and West Virginia Poet Laureate Irene McKinney.
The Way Things Always Happen Herecan be ordered directly from WVU Press by calling toll-free 866-988-7737 or online atwww.wvupress.com. Discounts are available for libraries and booksellers. Stewart is available for interviews and readings and can be contacted through the WVU Press.