Bargains in the Real World (Random House, 2001)

In this finely crafted collection, acclaimed writer Elizabeth Cox examines the lives of common people and how they deal with life when uncommon things happen to them — how they accept their fate, sometimes choosing to move on, sometimes not. The stories, many set in the South, deal with questions of loyalty, betrayal, discovery, sexuality, death, birth, and the inner dynamics that drive the choices we make. The characters struggle with a complex mixture of kindness and violence, and their final choices reveal a flawed but finally compassionate humanity.

Elizabeth Cox has an extraordinary talent for inhabiting her characters and capturing place, sense, and time. This commanding group of stories will prove unforgettable.

Contains the 1994 O. Henry Award winning story, "The Third of July."

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