In the best tradition of southern storytelling, Uke Rivers Delivers features raconteurs as beguiling as the tales they tell. These lyrical, darkly humorous monologues portray a range of denizens of the American South desperately trying to come to grips with their inherited pasts. A Confederate reenactor receives a message from the beyond to lay to rest the remains of Stonewall Jackson's horse. A docent at Washington and Lee University's Lee Chapel offers prim instruction on the facts and legends about "the General" with both reverence and irony. The young son of a lewd, alcoholic, self-dubbed evangelist acquires the wits--and the will--for survival by protecting the family's sunflower crops. A midget ukulele virtuoso is so surprised by his own eruption into violence that he can attribute it only to genetics. One of Jeff Davis's fellow cross-dressers; the killer of John Wilkes Booth; a Rebel deserter whose superior exacts his pound of flesh--all these characters and more, through their twisted and torn vernaculars, seek understanding and revival in R. T. Smith's superb collection.
R. T. Smith 's fiction has been published in Best American Short Stories, New Stories from the South, Best American Mystery Stories, and two Pushcart Prize anthologies. He is the author of thirteen volumes of poetry and has received the Library of Virginia Poetry Award. Raised in Georgia and North Carolina, he now lives in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He is the editor of Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review.