A collection of nine short stories set in the American South, depicted as odd and idiosyncratic. Emerging from the harsh realities of difficult lives, the stories are full of the violence of love and the love of violence. The author won the 1995 Steinbeck Award for Dogs of God.
"In these nine stories of pit-dog fighting and crawdad cooking, where giant pigs live in sink-holes and Bible pages are used for cigarette-rolling, Pinckney Benedict depicts a South that is odd and idiosyncratic. Emerging from the harsh realities of difficult lives, these stories do not spare us the violence of love or the love of violence ... Benedict's voice is unique; it is meant to be listened to" -- Mary Morris "Beware the wise who are young and gifted. They quickly become irreplaceable. And with these first stories, Pinckney Benedict, who is not merely precocious, shows convincingly that he is one of them" -- Russell Banks "These are intelligent and fully imagined stories. And Pinckney Benedict clearly has an amazing gift, a dazzling future" -- George Garrett "Town Smokes introduces a young writer of exceptional gifts and promise. The stories are funny and horrific by turns, poignant, painful, beautifully modulated - storytelling at its best" -- Joyce Carol Oates