Congratulations to Emrys Member Scott Gould for his recently published short story collection, Strangers to Temptation that takes us to the white-sand banks of the Black River in low country South Carolina during the early 1970s, a place in time where religion and race provide the backdrop for an often uneasy coming-of-age. Linked by a common voice, these thirteen stories introduce us to a cast of uniquely Southern characters: a Vietnam vet father with half a stomach who plays a skinny Jesus in the annual Easter play; a mother/nurse attempting to heal the world, all the while sneaking sips of Smirnoff and Tang; a best friend whose reckless dive off a bridge earns him a fake eyeball and a new girlfriend; an energetic, high-flying cheerleader with coconut-flavored kisses; and our narrator, a baseball-playing, paper-delivering boy just hoping to navigate the crooked path out of adolescence. With the narrator's eventual baptism into adulthood beneath the dark surface of Black River, Strangers to Temptation reminds all of us what it felt like to be young, confused and ultimately redeemed.
Scott Gould's work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Carolina Quarterly, New Madrid Journal, The Bitter Southerner, Black Warrior Review, Eclectica, The Raleigh Review, New Stories from the South, and New Southern Harmonies, among others. He is a two-time winner of the Artist Fellowship in Prose from the South Carolina Arts Commission and a past winner of the Fiction Fellowship from the South Carolina Academy of Authors. His collection of stories, Strangers to Temptation, was published by Hub City Press in June, 2017. Gould chairs the creative writing department at the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities in Greenville. You can purchase Strangers to Temptation at M.Judson Booksellers.