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In the Valley: A Conversation with Ron Rash

Frédérique Spill
p. 241-251

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Ron Rash
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Ron Rash’s seventh collection of short stories, In the Valley, was published in the United States at the end of the summer 2020. It’s now being translated into French. I’m very grateful to Ron Rash for accepting to talk about his new stories with me. This has been our fourth interview over the last five years. This conversation took place via Zoom on December 17, 2020.

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Ce document sera publié en ligne en texte intégral en juin 2022.

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Frédérique Spill: First question to you, Ron, how are you?

Ron Rash: After this year, I feel there’s some light coming back into the world. I think 2021 is going to be much better than the previous year. In the United States there’s a little more optimism than there’s been in quite a while.

FS: Have you read any good short stories lately that you’ve found inspiring?

RR: Yes, I’ve gone back to re-read Chekhov. I’ve probably read thirty stories of his in the last few months and one in particular continues to linger; it’s called “The Student.” Actually Chekhov said it was one of his favorite stories and I can see why. It’s about the power of art. I find it one of the most heartening stories about what art can give us.

FS: Your latest collection of short stories, In the Valley, appeared at the end of the summer 2020, in the midst of the covid pandemic. How has it been to release a new book in such circumstances?

RR: It’s been strange. And the book reflects this in some way. When I was shapin...

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Frédérique Spill, « In the Valley: A Conversation with Ron Rash »Journal of the Short Story in English, 74 | 2020, 241-251.

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Frédérique Spill, « In the Valley: A Conversation with Ron Rash »Journal of the Short Story in English [En ligne], 74 | Spring 2020, mis en ligne le 01 juin 2022, consulté le 27 janvier 2022. URL :

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Frédérique Spill

Frédérique Spill is Professor of American literature at the University of Picardy–Jules Verne in Amiens, France. She is the author of L’Idiotie dans l’œuvre de William Faulkner (PSN, 2009), soon to be published in English. She contributed to Critical Insights: The Sound and the Fury (Salem Press, 2014) and to Faulkner at Fifty: Tutors and Tyros (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014). She coedited The Wagon Moves: New Essays on As I Lay Dying, published in 2018 (L’Harmattan), as well as the spring 2018 issue of The Faulkner Journal. She has also published articles in French and in English on varied contemporary American authors including Flannery O’Connor, Cormac McCarthy, Robert Penn Warren, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, Willa Cather, Russell Banks, Philip Roth, Toni Morrison, Elizabeth Spencer and Ron Rash. The Radiance of Small Things in Ron Rash’s Writing was published by the University of South Carolina Press in 2019.

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