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Working It Off in Labor County by Larry D. Thacker

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The seventeen short stories in this volume often portray the same characters and the same settings. The Eastern Kentucky setting, where the author has lived most of his life, earns its fictional name, Labor County, from the vocations of its residents. “A rollicking portrayal of small-town Kentucky life . . . unified by strong narrative drive and well-crafted prose. Fans of George Singleton will love this.” Publishers Weekly. “There’s a country song on every page. . . . These characters want out, want in, yearn for some luck, lose whatever fortunes appear in their lives. This collection’s a keeper, worthy of shelf space between Larry Brown and Merle Haggard.” -George Singleton. “Thacker’s linked collection is a carnival ride of southern gothic tales and freak-show oddities  . . . Hilarious, yes, but it’s also a thoughtful exploration of the residents of Labor  County, Kentucky, who are desperate to pull meaning out of loss.” – Marie Manilla. The author, Larry Thacker, is the author of two chapbooks, four poetry collections, and Mountain Mysteries.

Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2021. 209 pages. Trade paperback.