This Is Not the Tropics

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This Is Not the Tropics

Stories

Ladette Randolph

292 pages

Paperback

March 2022

978-1-4962-2986-1

$24.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

March 2022

978-1-4962-3373-8

$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

The stories collected in This Is Not the Tropics come from the geographic center of a divided nation, and its protagonists evoke a split personality—one half submerged in America’s own diehard mythology, the other half searching to escape tradition. Together they form a portrait of the Plains that is both quirky and poignant. While the themes in this collection are familiar—love and betrayal, loneliness and regret, the needs of the individual versus the needs of the community—the tales themselves are startling and new. Whether it is the story of an eccentric out-of-work accordion player; a woman ending a long marriage against the backdrop of a visit from her failing mother; a young girl who wishes to solve a mystery until real mystery enters her life; or all of the men in a small Nebraska town who annually compete in a hilariously earnest beauty pageant, these are tales that speak of the lives lived in the small towns, the prairie cities, and on the dirt roads off blue highways in the middle of nowhere and everywhere.

Author Bio

Ladette Randolph is the editor in chief of Ploughshares magazine and is distinguished publisher in residence at Emerson College. She is the author of Private Way (Nebraska, 2022), A Sandhills Ballad (Bison Books, 2011), Haven’s Wake (Bison Books, 2013), and the memoir Leaving the Pink House.
 

Praise

“[These stories] brim with timeless truths about love, insecurity, and the glue that holds relationships together. . . . Randolph gets each and every character just right.”—Booklist
 

“Ladette Randolph’s stories sink their teeth into the deep Nebraska Midwest the way that Flannery O’Connor tore into the heart of Georgia. There’s a wonderfully sly, deadpan sweetness at work here, so that it may take a moment to realize how odd and twisty the stories are. . . . These are beautifully crafted, beguiling stories: witty, wise, and wicked.”—Dan Chaon, author of You Remind Me of Me
 

“Ladette Randolph’s stories have the sly, subtle intensity of a snake gliding through grass. They sneak up on their characters and the reader alike, invoking humor, grace, and wisdom before pouncing on us with exhilarating epiphanies that are as dark and brutal as they are hopeful.”—Meghan Daum, author of The Quality of Life Report

“These are stories of compassion and surprising generosity, as characters who have been trapped find escape, who have been lonely find company, and who have endured loss face not sorrow, but transformation.”—Erin McGraw, author of The Good Life: Stories
 
 

“A clear-eyed portrait of the plains.”—Publishers Weekly

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
What She Knows
A Member of the Family
The Boy in the Band Uniform
The Shouting Woman
Miss Kielbasa
It's Cheaper to Live in the Dark
Hyacinths
The Girls
The Picture in Her Dream
Billy
This Is Not the Tropics
After Canaan
The Sensitive Man
Dill
The Blue Room

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