The residents of Water Street are hardworking, God-fearing people who live in a seemingly safe and insulated neighborhood within a small Kentucky town: "Water Street is a place where mothers can turn their backs to flip a pancake or cornmeal hoecake on the stove and know our children are safe." But all is not as it seems as the secret lives of neighbors and friends are revealed in interconnected tales of love, loss, truth, and tragedy.
In this critically acclaimed short story collection, Crystal Wilkinson peels back the intricate layers that form the fabric of this community and its inhabitants—revealing emotionally raw, multifaceted tales of race, class, gender, mental illness, and interpersonal relationships. The thirteen succinct stories offer fragmented glimpses of an overarching narrative that emerges, lyrical and fierce. Featuring a new foreword and a new afterword which illuminate Wilkinson's artistic achievement, this captivating work is poised to delight a new generation of readers.
Foreword by Jacinda Townsend Welcome to Water Street My Girl Mona: Yolanda Water Street, 1979: Junior In Plain Sight: Jeanette An Ordinary Man: Reverend Townsend Between Men: Mouse The Evolution of Sandy Crawford: Sandy The Girl of my Dreams: Kiki Spoiled: Maxine The Fight: Toni and Candy Sixteen Confessions of Lois Carter: Lois Respite: Pearline Man Crazy: Mona Before I met my Father: Angie Afterword by Marianne Worthington Acknowledgments About the Author
Crystal Wilkinson is author of The Birds of Opulence, winner of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, and Blackberries, Blackberries, which won the 2002 Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature. The winner of the 2008 Denny Plattner Award in Poetry from Appalachian Heritage magazine and the Sallie Bingham Award from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, she serves as Appalachian Writer-in-Residence at Berea College and teaches in the Spalding University low residency MFA in Creative Writing Program.
Evidence of Wilkinson's considerable promise...Water Street continues to establish her as an author who deserves wider attention.
~The Washington Post
A sharp African American updating of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio.
~Utne Reader (Utne Book Club Selection, July 2003)
Wilkinson is a storyteller in the tradition of Southerners such as Eudora Welty and Carson McCullers.