Anthology •  Fiction and Southwest

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Road to Nowhere and Other New Stories from the Southwest

Edited by D. Seth Horton
Edited by Brett Garcia Myhren

The Southwest of the twenty-first century is full of surprises, and so is this collection of southwestern short stories published between 2007 and 2011. The writers represented here remind us that this is not the “Old Southwest” of gunfighters and sagebrush but, instead, a place of rock collectors, palm readers, and Russian mail-order brides. Well-known authors like Sallie Bingham, Ron Carlson, Laura Furman, and Dagoberto Gilb are joined here by exciting newcomers Eddie Chuculate, Don Waters, Claire Vaye Watkins, and others.


D. Seth Horton is the editor of four previous collections of western short stories, most recently Best of the West 2011: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri.

Brett Garcia Myhren, an associate editor on Best of the West 2011: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri, teaches at the University of Southern California and Saddleback College.


“Jersey boy that I am, felt really happy when one of my stories, which happened to be set in New Mexico, found its way in to a previous number of this terrific anthology. And I am happier still to see another edition of it. What a good, good idea, and what fine stories, from some of our finest established writers, such as Ron Carlson, Laura Furman, Dagoberto Gilb, and Brad Watson, and from some new writers whose work we will remember well into the future. The landscape of a part of the country we love, the landscape of contemporary prose we love to read, the landscape of the human heart where we all remain residents, permanent and yet transient—these stories take you there.”


Alan Cheuse, author of To Catch the Lightning: A Novel of American Dreaming

“The wise, tough depictions of these unforgettable roads to ruin will cause you surprise—and gratitude. The characters here are true creatures of the desert making their way through the Middle of Nowhere to Nowhere, through the dry river beds, the dry lake beds and wastelands, and to the irredeemable places of ghosts and gun culture. Always desiring to leave, they resolve to stay, to be damaged and to cause damage. They find no shelter from the truth of their choices, past and present. Reading this fine anthology is like traveling under the searing, purifying Southwest sky. ‘Why have I come?’ you will ask, and ‘Why would I ever leave?’”


Kevin McIlvoy, author of The Complete History of New Mexico: Stories

“In this book the Southwest emerges as a region dominated by short, intercut ‘sights’ rather than John Ford or Park Service panoramas. The views of the Southwest presented here are fleeting glances—a San Diego neighborhood glimpsed from a freeway on-ramp, a baby’s cry heard in the desert night, freshly graded roads to subdivisions that don’t yet exist. These stories force the Southwest to face itself in a future neither tourists nor locals could have foretold.”


Phillip Round, author of The Impossible Land: Story and Place in California’s Imperial Valley

“Put aside what you thought you knew for sure about Southwest stories and get ready for an all-new and updated view of the way we live now. . . . The landscape is eternal—hot, breathless, by turns serene and menacing—but it is a living backdrop that speaks to a twenty-first-century Southwest literary tradition and provides us with a fresh way of understanding ourselves and our shared experience.”


Southwest Books of the Year

“A literary cornucopia of superbly crafted short stories, Road to Nowhere and Other Stories from the Southwest is a fascinating and entertaining anthology that will leave readers eagerly tracking down more from the represented writers.”


Midwest Book Review

6 x 9 in. 296 pages