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"The writing is so wonderful you keep going, enthralled, never wanting this gorgeous prose to end." -- Bobbie Ann Mason, author of Shiloh

Horse People: Stories

A novel in stories about three generations of a family in Virginia's horse country. Chosen by Michael Griffith, editor, Yellow Shoe Fiction Series.

Set in pastoral horse country, the stories chronicle the lives of the Fenton family through the Civil War, the Great Depression, and World War II. At the center of these interconnected stories is Nelle Fenton, a northern debutante who marries into the family and establishes herself as its matriarch.

Through these multi-generational stories, Holladay draws on the folklore and history of her native Virginia and examines the cultural, racial, gender, and economic tensions that pervaded the entire nation. As a result, Horse People considers a particular place and the life of an exceptional woman as indicative of the struggles of the larger community.

The Deer in the Mirror

Stories of hardship and ecstasy. A young widow romances a German immigrant while weighing a proposal from colonial governor Alexander Spotswood. Convicted of murdering her master, an enslaved woman is burned at the stake. A breakneck stagecoach ride gives a bricklayer’s apprentice a chance to save or destroy his fellow passengers. An aging bachelor despairs of his late-in-life decision to marry a younger woman. A beautiful girl joins the 1898 Alaska Gold Rush, charms a violent gangster, the real-life Soapy Smith, and figures out the secret of his fabulous wealth.

The Quick-Change Artist: Stories

A Finalist for the John Gardner Award for Fiction, and a Finalist in the Virginia Literary Awards, The Quick-Change Artist is at once whimsical and hard-edged, dizzying in its matter-of-fact delivery of the fantastic. A work of fiction, the book includes real-life historical figures such as photographer Edyth Beveridge, veterinarian Polk Miller, and their friend, the adventurer John Cussons (1838-1912), who emigrated from England and shaped the village of Glen Allen, Virginia with the creation of Forest Lodge, a landmark hotel that dominated the life of the community.

The Palace of Wasted Footsteps

The Palace of Wasted Footsteps includes the award-winning story, "Merry-Go-Sorry," based on the West Memphis 3.

Other works by Cary Holladay