VALDOSTA — Dwight Holing tells brutal, beautiful stories of being young. Whether it’s learning a new job, being alone for the first time, losing everything, or any number of experiences, Holing captures that sense of discovery, both good and bad, that being young can have on the whittling away of a naive soul. In “California Works,” Valdosta-based publisher Snake Nation Press collects eight of Holing’s stories in a slim but powerful book. Holing is the 2012 winner of the Serena McDonald Kennedy Fiction Award. Holing’s style packs a roundhouse kick to the head in each take, but as Snake Nation notes on the book cover, it is the story “Salt” that not only pounds on the reader’s sensibilities and emotions but claws at the soul. In “Salt,” Holing enters that nightmare realm of the loss of a child; the story nearly wails a lament from the page. Snake Nation Press continues providing publication for local and regional writers as well as offering publication to gems such as “California Works” found a little further down the road.
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