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Rumors from the Lost World

Rumors from the Lost World is the first prize-winning collection of short fiction from the co-editor of Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan (2018) and the founding co-editor of American Fiction: The Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers (1988-present). His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in such newspapers as The New York Times Book Review, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, and in such journals as The Hudson Review, Kansas Quarterly, and The Quarterly.

 

"Diane stopped using her full-length mirror when the small white feathers on her back were large enough to see from across the room if she twisted in her nightgown like a dancer. Close up, the feathers were invisible, the angle of vision all wrong, so she turned the mirror around and stared for hours at its black paint."

-Growing Wings (You can read 'Growing Wings,' one of Davis's most acclaimed stories, here.)

 


"Moving easily between blue-collar types and Social Register summer people, New Age dancers and Old World immigrants, underground poets and Elvis freaks, Davis demonstrates an impressive range in this collection." 

-Kirkus Review

 


“Davis’s voice transports and sings. I kept thinking that I wouldn’t mind winding up as a character in one of his stories. Odds are, he’d do me justice.”

Dorothy Allison, NY Times Book Review (entire review archived here).

 

 

"There is magic in a world that still somehow seems devoid of magic." -Publishers Weekly



"Jane Jefferson entered the Black Factory, the bar hosting the Slam, in a white cotton turtleneck, white pants, and a pair of white jogging shoes. The drinkers gave her a round of applause. "Listening to you, baby, is better than good sex," someone yelled. Hear, hear, Peter Draper thought, wondering how he might judge the match without letting his emotions come into play. Jefferson could move in a snap from an anti-establishment jazz rap into a slow dance love croon that whispered in the eaves.


"Then Kafka walked in the temperature rose a few degrees. Kafka is a big man who's lifted his share of weights and lived through a bevy of cold alley fights, who's cracked a few heads (mostly before he climbed onto the AA twelve-step wagon, before he found that tattered crucial paperback of Beat poetry), who's had his own noggin raked across the sidewalk a few times. Dressed in black T-shirt, black corduroys, and old black sneakers, he made his way to the bar."

-World Poetry Slam

 


"Although these stories occur in many different parts of the country, they are aesthetically shaped by the landscape of Louisiana, the muddy delta, and the oily bayou -- the bottomland to which all things flow."

-Debra Marquart, author of The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere.



"Huddled around the car, we argued. In the far distance, through a geometry of high-powered telephone lines and scaffolding, there was something, though it provided little heat or light, just the barest trace of a disk, something noticeable only because it was different from what had been there before. It was like the way you can tell in a dark room, by heartbeat or breathing, whether you're with people you care for or not."

-Going West