These stories take place in the South, but their true terrain is the landscape of attraction, jealousy, and aggression—the easily-suppressed emotions that end up shaping so much of how we act. You might not realize it, but you think the way Lawson's characters think. Read this once to get caught up in their psychology, then again to appreciate how finely crafted the sentences are.

Virgin and Other Stories by April Lawson ($23, Farrar Straus and Giroux), recommended by Travis, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

 A Fall 2016 Okra Pick