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“Revealing the Southwest as home to some of the most entertaining writers in twenty-first century fiction.

Buffalo Cactus and Other New Stories from the Southwest

Edited by
D. Seth Horton,
Brett Garcia Myhren

Forty Days in the Desert

R.T. Jamison


I t’s raining sand. Fine, warm, flaxen sand. It drifts down like powdered sugar and dusts the trees and lawn furniture. No breeze distracts this sand from its sharp incline, straight down. It trails away skyward, a faint yellow smudge in a cloudless expanse. Such an apparition hardly gathers any attention for hours. No one seems to notice the slow buildup of grit, a grainy patina on what many neighbors already consider an eyesore. The mounds of tires, the tattered lawn furniture, the junked cars, the mailbox crafted from an engine block. Somehow a dusting of sand makes this ramshackle ranch house on an unpaved road in an unincorporated expanse seem staged and muted—as if our lens is smudged with a bit of white lithium grease. The sand goes unnoticed. It is, admittedly, a dusty place.

Noah does notice the sand, but assumes a wide broadcast is in progress. He does not think for a moment that this gritty manna is bestowed upon him alone. So he collects a broom and begins sweeping. He starts on the porch, working the sand from the corners and whisking it into his alkali yard. He shakes off the lawn furniture, returning each chair to its carefully ordained position, then doubles back to the porch only to find a thin coat of sand has reappeared, now divided diagonally by a set of paw prints. The Rottweiler stands at the edge of the porch as if lost in spiritual considerations before shaking the baptism from its body. It yawns and saunters between the maimed dirt bike and the wheelbarrow of carburetors, finding solace in the doorless garage. Noah notices a stream of sand skiing off the brim of his hat, and for the first time senses that this will be a special day.

First published in the Kenyon Review.


Buffalo Cactus and Other New Stories from the Southwest
| Anthology |

Stories by:
Ron Carlson, Alberto Ríos, Alex Espinoza, Tacey M. Atsitty, Daniel Hamilton, Sierra Bellows, Judy Troy, Robert Rosenberg, Jill Kato, José Skinner, Matthew Blumenthal, Toni Jensen, Robin Romm, Jennifer Bowen Hicks, Corey Campbell, Kelsie Hahn, Alex Wilson, Victor Lodato, Brock Clarke, Kirstin Valdez Quade, and R.T. Jamison


Paperback: 296 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0826357540
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Publication date: 03/2018

To purchase a copy:

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| From the Publisher |

Buffalo Cactus and Other New Stories
                            from the Southwest


Buffalo Cactus and
                        Other New Stories from the Southwest

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