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Burning Bright

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Winner of the 2010 Frank O'Connor Award, BURNING BRIGHT confirms Ron Rash 'could sit comfortably beside Cormac McCarthy on any bookshelf' (Guardian)

About the Author

Ron Rash is the author of several story collections and novels, including Serena, also published by Canongate. He lives in the Appalachian Mountains, USA.


* Technically absolutely beautiful - incredibly well-wrought...[Rash] is a real storyteller, a real craftsman. -- Nadine O'Regan Judge of the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award and books editor of the Sunday Business Post * One of the best American novelists of his day. New York Times * Rash's evocative rendering of the blighted landscape and the tough characters who inhabit it recalls both John Steinbeck and Cormac McCarthy. New Yorker on SERENA * Searing...A nicely varied feast from a master of the form. Kirkus Reviews (starred review) * A gorgeous, brutal writer -- Richard Price * Could sit comfortably on any bookshelf beside Cormac McCarthy or Charles Frazier Guardian on SERENA * The book calls to mind Snow Falling on Cedars and Cold Mountain but the poet in Ron Rash and his lyrical prose elevate this novel to its 'Book of the Year' status. A great read. Irish Times on SERENA * A harrowing tour de force...a complex and riveting portrait in the tradition of Gabriel Garcia Marquez Huffington Post on SERENA * Rash tells great stories, raw and powerful, but he is above all, an instinctive writer. These narratives, whether told in his laconic first person, or in a detached third-person voice, are well served by his flawless use of language. Every word carries meaning and intent ... Rash possesses a realist's vision that resounds with truth. Irish Times * [Rash] writes sympathetically of these outcasts from society, ruined people struggling to survive in a ruined landscape, failures for whom the American Dream is closer to nightmare. But he also resists the temptation to sentimentalise them. He is well aware that hardship and poverty are not ennobling; that more often they make people mean and narrow. The Scotsman * [An] exquisitely crafted collection of short stories. ...Burning Bright is delivered with such a surety of hand and such a considered distillation of the human spirit as to warrant the book jacket's comparisons to Carver and Faulkener. Independent on Sunday * [A] superb collection...Rash can create a character in a single sentence; this is the great American short story at its best. -- Kate Saunders Times * Rash's spare, Cormac McCarthy-style prose paints a horribly sad picture of a country that has failed its rural poor. Yet he writes beautifully, sympathetically and authoritatively, infusing everything with a painful beauty. Metro * The dozen stories [in Burning Bright]...have led to justifiable comparisons with Raymond Carver and Cormac McCarthy. ... These are tales that put you in another place, another kind of life. Recommended. Daily Mail * Rash's prose is at once strong and supple, masculine and poetic, and lit up by a wealth of precise physical detail. ... His power of conveying landscape is exemplary, and he has a sure understanding of the measure and constraints of the short-story form. Sunday Times * A superb collection of short stories; the great American short story at its best. Times * harsh and effective -- Allan Massie The Scotsman * wholly satisfying... very well written, nicely shaped, perceptive, humane, sympathetic and horribly true -- Allan Massie The Scotsman * undeniably fine collection Time Out * darkly beautiful Sunday Times * Rash's prose is at once strong and supple, masculine and poetic Sunday Times * His power of conveying landscape is exemplary Sunday Times * the strength of Rash's characterisations...makes this collection so compelling Sunday Times * An uncompromising celebration of the short story Irish Times * resounds with truth yet never falters into the heavy handed Irish Times * great stories, raw and powerful... flawless use of language. Every work carries meaning and intent Irish Times * this uncompromising, candid collection does indeed burn bright in every way Irish Times * these are tales that put you in another place, another kind of life Daily Mail

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