more complex, multilayered and disturbing “Kettle ofnHawks.” This same admirable and dangerous stubbornnessncan be found in any story from Mary Hood’s two collections.nAnd Venus Is Blue and How Far She Went; indeed,nthere’s something almost atavistic in her stories, heardnsometimes as a spooky echo of the voice of FlannerynO’Connor.nThere are ironies, too, that lie close to the surface of thisnrenewed regionalism. The funny thing is that anyonencan do it now, or anyone can try. Mary Hood, whose work isnso unmistakably Southern, makes a point of mentioningnshe’s half from the north: “I am like Laurie Lee’s fabulousntwo-headed sheep, which could ‘sing harmoniously in andouble voice and cross-question itself for hours.'” NativenNew Jerseyite Alan Cheuse shows what handy turns he canndo on the Southern theme in his new collection, ThenTennessee Waltz. Moving in the opposite direction, KellynCherry shows in her recent “novel-in-stories” (My Life andnDoctor ]oyce Brothers) what ordinary Middle Americannangst feels like when a transplanted Southern womannexperiences it. The incomparably powerful novelist PercivalnEverett, still underrecognized perhaps because people arenafraid of him, has in The Weather and the Women Treat MenFair put his own stamp on the Southern short story on thenmove into the American Northwest, or wherever. Thennthere are new kinds of stories in the works based on new andnextraordinary circumstances of Southern living — like RobertnOlin Butler’s story cycle about the Vietnamese communitiesnof Louisiana.nGenerally speaking, a certain sort of story of rural ornsmall-town life is no longer exclusively Southern, if it evernwas. That Southerners still know how to make this story newnis excellently proved by, among others, Pinckney Benedict’snjustly celebrated volume. Town Smokes. But some of thenthemes once claimed as traditionally Southern have beennreclaimed in recent work by Carolyn Chute and RobertnOlmstead. And by John Dufresne, whose first collection.nThe Way That Water Enters Stone, is in spite of thenunfortunate title one of the finest of the year. Dufresne,nwherever he is from, can do Southern and New Englandnvoices with equal conviction. It becomes less place thannissue that matters, and all over the new regional storywritingnappear the survivors who have washed up into backwaters ofnthe cultural mainstream that would smother them with itsnbland indifference. They have their common characteristics,nSouthern or not: an anger, a stubbornness, an indomitablenindividualism, and (how one comes back to it) a tragicallyngorgeous weakness for the sin of pride. As one of AlysonnHagy’s characters puts it, “even the smallest streams willnhave their say.”nOne of the truisms of Southern literature is that its powerncomes from a radical sense of displacement — the state ofnbeing in the nation, but not of it. Because they are notnshareholders in the American dream, this argument goes.nSouthern writers are better able to distinguish the ideal fromnthe reality — a situaHon that has always been shared (uneasily)nby American black and Jewish writers. If the lines ofnregional and ethnic writing are less clearly drawn thannpreviously, the reason may be that American political life isnnow able to offer a strong dose of disillusionment, disenfranchisementneven, to all Americans. It’s funny, in a bitter way,nhow what is so bad for a nation can often be so good for itsnart. nTHE WISDOM OF THE PLANNED GIFTnThere are a variety of ways to give to educational and charitable organizations, likenThe Rockford Institute, publisher of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.nMost people make outright gifts which result in a “charitable deduction” from theirntaxable income in a given year. But there are other ways to give that can preservenincome or assets for a donor and his beneficiaries, avoid capital gains and estatentaxes, and benefit the Institute or other charities of your choice. These are oftennreferred to as “planned gifts.”nPooled Income Funds provide income to a donor or his beneficiary and can benestablished at the $5,000 level. The amount in the fiind can be added to each year,nand the amount of income depends on the performance of the pooled fund. This fundnhas both high income and growth-oriented investments, and the return is generallynmuch higher than stock dividends. The amount of charitable tax deduction for the giftndepends on the fair market value of the assets contributed (there is no capital gains taxnon stock contributions) and is related to the age of the donor or beneficiaries. There is no capital gains tax to thendonor on the increased value of the fund over time. Upon the death of the donor or beneficiary, the assets go to thenInstitute and bypass estate taxes.nLegacy Program, The Rockford Institute, 934 North Main Street, Rocliford, IL 61103nD Please send me general information on the various “Planned Giving” options.nn Please send me information on the Institute’s Pooled Income Fund.nNAMEnADDRESSnCITY _nSTATE ZIP PHONEnIf you have a specific asset, such as stocks, that you are considering for a contribution, and if you would like the Institute to evaluate the fmancialntax implications for your gift, please include the following information:nSS # ^ SS # (SPOUSE)^nCOST OF ASSET ESTIMATED MARKET VALUEnnnMARCH 1991/31n