This volume presents nine new stories which seem, to the author, to fit under the rubric of “creepy”. The unfortunate beggar man in Canto do Virapuru is, or was, a real person who occasionally still haunts my dreams and defines “creepy” for me. All of the stories are fiction, of course, but most are based on events and places from my past, both distant (Good Morning Lisbon and The Corcoran Dream) and recent (Bird of Constant Sorrow, I, Agave, Three Suns on the Horizon). Grotto of the Golden Snake is modified from a chapter in a novel that I hope to publish at some point. I have no explanation at all for Ha’boon except to say that the title came to me 20 or 30 years ago, long before I began writing fiction, and rested in hibernation until the present. The title story Burnt Corn derives from my 4H days on the farm where I fell in love with raising rabbits. Later, as a married grad student at New Mexico Tech in Socorro I had to resurrect this skill to supplement my pitiful income and I continued my affair with rabbits well into my first professorship. The title, Burnt Corn, derives from the birthplace of a friend in Commerce, Missouri who died many years ago. I don’t know why that name stuck with me over all these years since but I would like to think my friend would have approved of my story celebrating his home town. My favorite of the nine stories is The Corcoran Dream. I don’t know how many times I have read it, but it brings tears each time. I hope it reminds you of Willa Cather’s prairie novels.
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