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The Deer in the Mirror

Cary Holladay

Publication Year: 2013

With a song-like voice and deep knowledge of the history and folklore of her native Virginia, Cary Holladay creates dazzling stories of hardship and ecstasy. A young widow romances a German immigrant while weighing a proposal from the colonial governor. Convicted of murdering her master, an enslaved woman is burned at the stake. A breakneck stagecoach ride gives a bricklayer’s apprentice the power to save or destroy his fellow passengers. An aging bachelor despairs of his marriage to a Confederate orphan. A beautiful adventuress joins the 1898 Alaska Gold Rush, charms a violent gangster, and figures out the secret of his fabulous wealth. This seventh book from an award-winning author spans 300 years in the Old Dominion. Holladay’s people fight the wars, battle the floods, and wrest a living from a wilderness where “Time is God’s, not ours”—so says a reformed prostitute whose obsessive love for an amnesiac Yankee soldier defines her life. With a sensuous, lyrical style, Holladay holds a distinctive place in contemporary fiction. All of these stories have appeared in major literary journals and anthologies, including Tin House and New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best.

Published by: The Ohio State University Press

Series: The Ohio State University Prize in Short Fiction


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

I am thankful to the staffs of the Museum of Culpeper History and the Orange County Historical Society for research assistance; to the University of Memphis and the National Endowment for the Arts for generous support; to Erin McGraw of The Ohio State University and to Malcolm Litchfield and his staff at The Ohio State University Press ...

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The Deer in the Mirror

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pp. 1-20

Verena Morrison Whitlow, a thirty-year-old widow, will have to share her house with another woman, for her seventeen-year-old brother Hugh is getting married. His pregnant bride, older by a good fifteen years, is above-stairs vomiting. ...

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The Burning

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pp. 21-34

The woman is burning alive. As the fire eats her skin and muscles and nerves, her screams shake the rocks. She is chained by the neck to an iron stake, amid a pile of stones. Heavy ropes about her waist hold her fast. Her arms are tied, the wrists lashed together. Her skin flakes to ash, peels away from her body, and rises in pieces around her. ...

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The Runaway Stagecoach

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pp. 35-51

Lewis Mundy at fifteen wants to be a stagecoach driver. He has decided this since leaving his family’s small farm in Spotsylvania County at dawn and heading west toward Stevensburg, where he will serve as an apprentice to his uncle, a brick maker. To be a driver, Lewis decides, he must first develop a grand deep voice like that of Barnes, ...

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Every High Hill

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pp. 52-65

Coleman Barbour, lamed by a fall as a young man, got married at fifty-two. His bride, Alice, grew up at a Confederate orphanage as the pet of the matrons. She would not tell her age, but Coleman guessed she was a good thirty years younger than he was. They were married in Richmond and spent their wedding night in a hotel. ...

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The Flood

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pp. 66-87

Here came something big. Twelve-year-old Gid Ulsh, in the river boiling with flotsam, recognized the object as a hog trough. He leaned out from the boat he shared with his father. The little craft swayed dangerously in the cold water. The trough came close, then slipped out of reach. Gid’s father waved an arm, meaning, Let it go. ...

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Ice Hands

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pp. 88-101

At first, Reed Seever enjoys harassing the woman preacher, the Reverend Lori Lyles, especially since the Admiral, the church’s leading member, pays him so well to do it. Reed thinks of it as arts and crafts. He mixes corn syrup with red food coloring, and ta-dah: blood. ...

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The Days of the Peppers

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pp. 102-111

Cats glide out from the shadows. She has trained them to expect her every night. Pouring dry food into pie plates, she calls them by name: “Whirly, Tactic, Sylvie.” Their heads move fast with gobbling motions. The chow smells mealy. “You should go back in, June,” she says, glancing at her watch. “Isn’t your break over?” ...

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Hitching Post

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pp. 112-129

“You’re different,” Bruce told Jennilou. Unlike his previous girlfriends, who were talkative and sarcastic and wanted to marry stockbrokers or be stockbrokers themselves, Jennilou just wanted to read, anything from Shakespeare to cheap love stories. ...

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Heart on a Wire

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pp. 130-172

In a private suite in Skagway’s best brothel, Emlee McCampbell stands before a mirror and mimics her lover, Soapy Smith. Her audience consists only of her pet monkey, a tiny creature dressed in a ringmaster’s scarlet coat and cap, embellished with gold braid and gold epaulets. ...

Back Cover

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p. 185-185

E-ISBN-13: 9780814270028
E-ISBN-10: 0814270026
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814251867
Print-ISBN-10: 0814251862

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: The Ohio State University Prize in Short Fiction