F*ckface and Other Stories ~ Leah Hampton


F*ckface is a brassy, bighearted debut collection of twelve short stories about rurality, corpses, honeybee collapse, and illicit sex in post-coal Appalachia.

The twelve stories in this knockout collection–some comedic, some tragic, many both at once–examine the interdependence between rural denizens and their environment.A young girl, desperate for a way out of her small town, finds support in an unlikely place. A ranger working along the Blue Ridge Parkway realizes that the dark side of the job, the all too frequent discovery of dead bodies, has taken its toll on her. Haunted by his past, and his future, a tech sergeant reluctantly spends a night with his estranged parents before being deployed to Afghanistan. Nearing fifty and facing new medical problems, a woman wonders if her short stint at the local chemical plant is to blame. A woman takes her husband’s research partner on a day trip to her favorite place on earth, Dollywood, and briefly imagines a different life.In the vein of Bonnie Jo Campbell and Lee Smith, Leah Hampton writes poignantly and honestly about a legendary place that’s rapidly changing. She takes us deep inside the lives of the women and men of Appalachia while navigating the realities of modern life with wit, bite, and heart.

Leah Hampton is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers and the winner of the University of Texas’s Keene Prize for Literature, as well as North Carolina’s James Hurst and Doris Betts prizes. Her work has appeared in storySouthMcSweeney’s Internet TendencyAppalachian HeritageNorth Carolina Literary Review, the Los Angeles TimesEcotone, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. A former college instructor, Hampton lives in and writes about the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Further reading:

Read: F*ckface, storySouth

Review: F*ckface And Other Stories, FT

Prompt: Think about an occasion when you’ll need a new outfit – it could be a job interview or wedding or birthday party. You’ve been given a £500 giftcard to spend at your favourite online store. Now go the store and place the items in your basket. Describe what you’ve bought. Now write as though the day has arrived and you’re putting on these new clothes. Aim for 300 words.

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