By Wendell Berry

For greater than fifty years, Wendell Berry has been telling us tales approximately Port William, a legendary city at the banks of the Kentucky River, populated through the years via a forged of unforgettable characters residing in one position over many years. during this new assortment, the author’s first piece of latest fiction because the e-book of Andy Catlett in 2006, the tales date’s diversity from 1864, whilst Rebecca Dawe unearths herself in her personal mirrored image on the finish of the Civil conflict, to 1 from 1991 while Grover Gibbs’ widow, Beulah, attends the public sale as her domestic position is available on the market. It feels as though the complete club, all of the Catletts, Burley Coulter, Elton Penn, the Rowanberrys, Laura Milby, the preacher’s spouse, Kate Helen department, Andy’s puppy, Mike, approximately all people returns with a narrative or , to fill within the gaps during this lengthy story. these simply now becoming a member of the club may be charmed. these who’ve attended ahead of may be enriched.The tale of the group of Port William is without doubt one of the nice works in American literature. released within the author’s 78th 12 months, this assortment, the 10th quantity within the sequence, is the right party to rejoice his large achievement."And so it’s all long past. a brand new time has come. quite a few ones of the outdated time preserve religion and prevent by means of to determine me, Coulter and Wilma and some others. however the one I wait to determine is Althie. appears like my entire lifestyles now's lived below the sensation of her hand touching me that day of the sale, and each day nonetheless. I lie unsleeping within the evening, and that i can see all of it in my brain, th previous position, the home, every part I took care of see you later. i assumed i'd omit it, yet I don’t. The time has long past whilst I oculd do greater than fear approximately it, and that i claim it’s a load off my brain. however the innovations, nonetheless, are one of those company." -- Beulah Gibbs

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Having recovered her stillness, pressing firmly downward within herself the physical tremor of her fright, she looked back at him. He was a young man with a curly, sand-colored beard. To somebody else, or in different circumstances, he might have seemed even, in his fashion, a handsome young man. But she feared him and she hated him, and without flinching she looked back at him. She thought, and the thought was familiar to her, how easy it would have been, if she had had a gun, if she had placed herself a few feet back in the shadowy room, to have shot him dead.

Over the striking of the knives and the steady rustling of the corn and the singing, the moonlight fell as if a greater silence were thus made visible. And Rebecca saw too, following the narrow road up the rise from the church, another of the little bands of hostile men that in those years crisscrossed the neighborhood, leaving it each time, it seemed to her, worse than it had been before, just as they crisscrossed also her own mind, leaving it each time sadder and yet stronger and less to be fooled.

They gathered again in the road and formed raggedly a line, resuming the direction that would carry them on through the town and finally into the river valley. Looking away then in the direction they were going to go, she saw hanging over the river a single small white cloud just touched by the gold of the weakening sun. And then she saw, as if wonder must now be added to the new normality of outrage, the figure of a walking man emerge into the open concavity of the road as it came up out of the valley and turned toward the town.

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