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by Cormac McCarthy
In The Stranger by Albert Camus: A greeting card and a blank envelope. The card has a cartoon king on the cover and inside it says, “You rule!” There is nothing else written anywhere.
While Gay himself might prize being considered among the Southern greats, his stories of desolation and beauty -- brimming, yes, with the familiar Gothic elements of violence and darkness of hearts -- feed and trouble our souls, whether or not we come to the text already knowing the “timeless tolling of whippoorwills, both bitter and reassuring,” or have passed ugly nights in a honkytonk, or keep a rifle or a pistol under the bed.