Turnback creeK

winner of the

2006 Clay Reynolds Novella Prize

Turnback Creek Reviews

Turnback Creek is a vividly realized, heartrending but never sentimental novella about one man’s inability to go gently into death’s good night. Lonnie Busch is an exciting new voice in Southern fiction. —Ron Rash, author of One Foot in Eden, Saints by the River, and The World Made Straight. Rash is winner of The O.Henry Award, The Appalachian Writers Association Book of the Year Award for 2003, and Forward Magazine’s Gold Medal for Best Literary Novel of 2002.

Turnback Creek is a look into mortality, at once gentle and hard, and the conclusions in this fine novella are as true as a perfect cast into dark, deep waters. —Brian Railsback, author of Parallel Expeditions: Charles Darwin and the Art of John Steinbeck, A John Steinbeck Encyclopedia, and The Darkest Clearing.

Part ghost story, part love story, all with the bite of loss, grief, and redemption. Turnback Creek has it all, and Busch’s deft prose brings it palpably to life. It is not to be missed. —Jubal Tiner, James Jones First Novel Fellowship Finalist, Editor of Pisgah Review.

Turnback Creek. This bittersweet tale of a confrontation of one old man with mortality, his own and that of those who mean the most to him, and passion, his own and that of those who love him, defies the gravitational pull into despond and emerges as a very nearly inspirational story of the discovery of affirmed values. It’s seldom that such a display of strong characterization is combined with naturalistic dialogue and convincing situation in such a quiet, almost static story line without descending into melancholy and ennui. Add to that almost seamless prose and a profound descriptive power, and what emerges is a stunning study of life and death, of propinquity straying near the ragged emotional edges, of the constant conflict between memory long suppressed and longing much repressed. I found it very powerful and compelling from the very first page. —Clay Reynolds, contest judge.