For many years, Shannon Ravenel edited the New Stories From the South anthology; she’s turned over the reins to Kathy Pories and yearly guest editors: Alan Gurganis in 2006, Edward P. Jones in 2007, and Z.Z. Packer in 2008. As expected, these anthologies do feature many of the South’s favorite sons and daughters (which, if you are out of touch with that region’s rich literary tradition and culture, is a major public service); in this instance, Packer’s introduction is an intriguing, smart, and provocative essay entitled The Double Indemnity of the South:
And as backward as we've been portrayedor as backward as we’ve sometimes portrayed ourselves, slipping behind a curtain of innocent and naïve agrarianism, rural somnolence, and sleepy everlasting vowelsthe truth is that every awful and beautiful thing that has happened in America happened in the South first.Kudos to Dan Wickett and Dzanc Books for finding a need and filling it well with the initial Best of the Web 2008. The volume’s editor, Nathan Leslie, writes:
This anthology does not attempt to capture some very vital aspects of the online experienceno multimedia experience, no interactive texts, no surfing here. We limited ourselves to four genrespoetry, fiction, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction. There are others; this isn’t our attempt to build Rome in a day Rome will come. It will take time. For now I simply hope you like the anthology we put together. Read, enjoy, savor.