Pinckney Benedict grew up on his family’s dairy farm in the mountains of southern West Virginia. He has published two previous collections of short fiction (Town Smokes and The Wrecking Yard) and a novel (Dogs of God). His stories have appeared in, among other magazines and anthologies, Esquire, Zoetrope: All-Story, StoryQuarterly, Ontario Review, the O. Henry Award series, the New Stories from the South series, the Pushcart Prize series, The Oxford Book of American Short Stories, and The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction. He is the recipient, among other prizes, of a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Literary Fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, a Michener Fellowship from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award, a Individual Artist grant from the Illinois Arts Council, and Britain’s Steinbeck Award. He is a professor in the English Department at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois.