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The World Made Straight by Ron Rash

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I have not asked Ron if he was inspired to write this book by the William Faulkner quote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." Nevertheless, this is a book that deals with the way that the past has a haunting impact upon the present. In January of 1863 a Confederate regiment in the Shelton Laurel Valley of Madison County, North Carolina, not far from the Tennessee line, executed 13 accused Union sympathizers. The protagonist of this book, Travis Shelton, is seventeen when he discovers a huge marijuana crop in the Madison County woods and then steps into a bear trap. “Finely wrought . . . Vivid.” ―Publishers Weekly. “An intellectually satisfying work of suspense . . . Reminds us of the sort of compelling literature a brave artist can fashion from the shards of such experience.” ―Los Angeles Times. “A superb tale of redemption and healing . . . Vividly enriched by clear, concise prose . . . A beautifully rendered palimpsest.” ―BookPage. This novel was made into a full length film about the time that Rash's novel, Serena, was made into a film by a major Hollywood studio starring some the era's biggest stars. Serena failed to garner either great reviews or a wide audience. The World Made Straight was produced by an independent Los Angeles company and received a better-than-expected reception. Ron Rash is the author of four poetry collections, six story collections, and seven novels. He grew up in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, with close ties to his grandparents up in the mountains, and has lived near Clemson, South Carolina most of his adult life. He teaches at Western Carolina University. 

 New York: Henry Holt, 2006. 304 pages. Hardback in dust jacket.