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The Convict and Other Stories

The Convict and Other Stories

  • reading group guide
THE COLLECTION NO CRIME FICTION FAN SHOULD BE WITHOUT -- THE ESSENTIAL SHORT STORIES OF JAMES LEE BURKE

"America's best novelist" (The Denver Post ), two-time Edgar Award winner James Lee Burke is renowned for his lush, suspense-charged portrayals of the Deep South -- the people, the crime, the hope and despair infused in the bayou landscape. This stunning anthology takes us back to where Burke's heart and soul beat -- the steamy, seamy Gulf Coast -- in complex and fascinating tales that crackle with violence and menace, meshing his flair for gripping storytelling with his urbane writing style.
Choose a format:
  • Pocket Books | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416599258 | 
  • March 2009
List Price $19.99

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author James Lee Burke. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

James Lee Burke transports readers to the Gulf coasts of Louisiana and Texas and to battlefields around the world in the nine stories in this powerful and atmospheric collection, exploring themes of guilt, memory, war, and race.

In “The Pilot,” a man fixes his troubled marriage in his own inimitable way. “Taking a Second Look” is the story of a professor coping with grief who finds consolation not in the classroom but on a neighborhood ball field. In “Lower Me Down with a Golden Chain,” an American journalist’s decision to investigate both sides of a Guatemalan civil war has unexpected consequences. Narrated by a young boy, the title story depicts race relations in the South through the lens of one family’s experience.

Vivid and original, thought-provoking and poignant, these and the five other tales in this collection probe the mysteries of the human mind and heart—and the complex circumstances in which we sometimes find ourselves.

Questions for Discussion

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About the Author

James Lee Burke
Photo credit: Frank Veronsky

James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke, a rare winner of two Edgar Awards, and named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, is the author of more than thirty previous novels and two collections of short stories, including such New York Times bestsellers as Light of the World, Creole Belle, Swan Peak, The Tin Roof Blowdown, and Feast Day of Fools. He lives in Missoula, Montana.

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