Pinckney Benedict grew up on a 700-acre gentleman's farm in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, in a family prominent in state Republican politics. He attended prep school in Pennsylvania and graduated from Princeton University, where he studied under Joyce Carol Oates. From there he went to the Iowa Writers Workshop. His first story collection, Town Smokes, was published in 1987 - before he graduated from the Iowa Workshop. "The Sutton Pie Safe" in that collection is one of my all-time favorite short stories. The New York Times Book Review deemed it a"notable book." Benedict's first teaching job was at Oberlin College. Few Appalachian writers have gotten off to a more auspicious start. Inspired by fellow West Virginian, Breece Pancake, Benedict relished writing about low-class characters, and he did it extremely well. Wrecking Yard is his second story collection. In the summer of 1989 Benedict taught at the Appalachian writers workshop at Hindman, Kentucky. There he met Laura Philpot who was working for Busch Creative. Benedict later reflected, "Here was this beautiful, smart woman, a writer who was making good money and had an unending supply of Budweiser. I knew I had to get the deal locked up before she wised up." And he did exactly that when she became his wife. His first novel, Dogs of God, was published in 1995. Then he had a cancer scare and has not subsequently given a damn about being a rising star in the literary world. He is content to raise a family and teach at Southern Illinois University and dabble in writing.
New York: Doubleday, 1992. Hardback in dust jacket.