Walk Me to the Distance (Southern Revivals)
Vietnam veteran David Larson can't go home again. Instead the Georgia native wanders westward into the desolate landscape of Slut's Hole, Wyoming, and seeks to integrate himself amid a hardscrabble cast of memorable locals. David is taken in by Sixbury, a one-legged widow, sheep farmer, and mother to a nearly adult mentally handicapped son. This rough-hewn family unit is later augmented when David becomes the unwilling guardian to Butch, a Vietnamese girl abandoned at a highway rest stop. A tragic turn of events moves the novel into violent territory that bridges western laconic traditions with southern gothic and interrogates our notions of home, family, duty, and the always uncertain responsibilities of the individual in society.
First published in 1985, Walk Me to the Distance was Percival Everett's second novel, a hauntingly dark tragicomedy of the modern West, still clinging to a mythical heritage and code of frontier justice. With spare strokes Everett paints a telling landscape of big-sky country, where the mere act of living can be hard, cruel, and heart-stopping. This Southern Revivals edition includes a new introduction by the author and a contextualizing preface from series editor Robert H. Brinkmeyer, director of the University of South Carolina Institute for Southern Studies.