THE UNCOLLECTED STORIES OF ALLAN GURGANUS - Allan Gurganus in conversation with Wiley Cash

In partnership with The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, Octavia Books invites you to join us for a "Reader Meet Writer" virtual event featuring master story-teller and literary giant Allan Gurganus in conversation with bestselling author Wiley Cash featuring THE UNCOLLECTED STORIES OF ALLAN GURGANUS.

To participate, please treat yourself to a copy of the book from Octavia Books at and we will send you a link to get access to the Zoom webinar.

One of “the best writers of our time” (Ann Patchett) offers this hilarious yet haunting cycle of stories—all previously uncollected.

Since the explosive publication of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, Allan Gurganus has dazzled readers as “the most technically gifted and morally responsive writer of his generation” (John Cheever). He has been praised as "one of America’s preeminent novelists, our prime conductor of electric sentences" (William Giraldi). Above all, Allan Gurganus is a seriously funny writer, an expert at evoking humor, especially in our troubled times.

Now he offers nine classic tales—never before between covers. They attest to his mastery of the short story and the growing depth of his genius.? Offering characters antic and tragic, Gurganus charts the human condition—masked and unmasked—as we live it now. “Once upon a time” collides with the everyday. We meet a mortician whose dedication to his departed clients exceeds all legal limits. We encounter a seaside couple fighting to save their family dog from Maine’s fierce undertow. A virginal seventy-eight-year-old grammar school librarian has her sole erotic experience with a polyamorous snake farmer. A vicious tornado sends twin boys aloft, leaving only one of them alive. And, in an eerily prescient story, cholera strikes a rural village in 1849 and citizens come to blame their doomed young doctor who saved hundreds.

These meticulously crafted parables recall William Faulkner’s scope and Flannery O’Connor’s corrosive wit. Imbuing each story with charged drama, Gurganus, a sublime ventriloquist, again proves himself among our funniest writers and our wisest.

"These nine stories provide a masterclass in How to Write a Story. I’m not sure how Mr. Gurganus can offer Comical, Tragic, Tender, Frightening, Soulful, Hopeful, and Despairing elements within every story, but it’s true. Perfect protagonists and their enemies. What the heck took so long for these remarkable uncollected stories to discover a binding? This collection deserves to be on the same shelf as Carver, Cheever, and O’Connor." - George Singleton, author of You Want More: Selected Stories
"Gurganus, a storyteller in the grand tradition. . . can tell his stories as well as anyone alive in our time." - George Garrett, New York Times Book Review
"Allan Gurganus has the uncanny ability to make you laugh and shudder at the same time." - T.C. Boyle
"Blending trenchant satire with outrageous humor, Gurganus’s stories recall both Mark Twain and Flannery O’Connor." - Chicago Tribune
"Allan Gurganus is our verbal magician. He turns factual rabbits into poetic doves. Every sentence contains a surprise, but the brilliant surface doesn’t dazzle us from peering into the tender human depths." - Edmund White
"No living writer knows more about how humans matter to each other." - Wells Tower

Allan Gurganus is widely translated, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Adaptations of his fiction have earned four Emmys, and his stories have been appearing in The New Yorker since 1974. He lives in a small town in North Carolina.

Code of Conduct: Our event provides a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules may be expelled from the event without a refund at the discretion of the organizers.


Event date: 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Event address: 

The Uncollected Stories of Allan Gurganus Cover Image
ISBN: 9780871403780
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - January 12th, 2021

One of “the best writers of our time” (Ann Patchett) offers this hilarious yet haunting cycle of stories—all previously uncollected.

Event Type Terms: