Saturday, December 03, 2022

Seven top books about the new West

Kay Chronister is the author of the collection Thin Places (2020). Her stories have appeared in Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, The Dark, and elsewhere, and her work has been nominated for the Shirley Jackson and World Fantasy Awards.

Her new novel is Desert Creatures.

At Lit Hub Chronister tagged seven "books that will take you on a literary tour of the new West: a place where neon sign graveyards abound, schools still take time off for the rodeo, and people bring their pet tortoises along when they evacuate for wildfires." One title on the list:
Don Waters, The Saints of Rattlesnake Mountain

This vivid collection ranges across the desert landscapes of Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, featuring characters who teeter on the edge between transcendence and despair. Waters’ Southwest is a region of ambivalent lapsed Catholics and born-again fanatics, of devout non-believers and aspiring saints, all of them wrestling with faith. For many of them, fittingly, the desert possesses a terrible, sublime, near god-like indifference: “he felt crushed by the immensity of everything,” Waters writes of one character, a prisoner charged with rounding up wild horses.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue