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About the Author: Pat Carr

PAT CARR has a B.A. and M.A. from Rice, a Ph.D. from Tulane, and sixteen published books, including the Iowa Fiction Prize winner, The Women in the Mirror, and the PEN Book Award finalist, If We Must Die. She’s published over a hundred short stories in such places as The Southern Review, Yale Review, and Best American Short Stories. Her latest short story collection, The Death of a Confederate Colonel, a nominee for the Faulkner Award, won the PEN Southwest Fiction Award, the John Estes Cooke Civil War Fiction Award, and was voted one of the top ten books from university presses for 2007 by Foreword Magazine. She’s won numerous other awards, including a Library of Congress Marc IV, an NEH, the Texas Institute of Letters Short Story Award, an Al Smith Literary Fellowship, and a Fondation Ledig-Rowohlt Writing Fellowship in Lausanne, Switzerland. She’s taught creative writing and literature in numerous universities across the South, has conducted writing workshops from Santa Fe to New York, and in August, 2011, taught the Civil War novel at New York’s Chautauqua Institute. Her writing text, Writing Fiction with Pat Carr appeared from High Hill Press in 2010, and her memoir, One Page at a Time: On a Writing Life, also published in 2010 by Texas Tech University Press, was a finalist for both the Willa Cather Award and the PEN Southwest Non-fiction Award. Her novella, The Radiance of Fossils, is scheduled to appear from the Main Street Rag Press in the summer of 2012. She lives and writes on a thirty-six acre farm in Arkansas with her writer husband, Duane Carr, three dogs, a cat, and fifteen black chickens.

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Paperback, Published in Jul 2006 by Texas Christian University Press

ISBN10: 0875653324 | ISBN13: 9780875653327

Page count: 178

In August 1914, recently orphaned Cooper Harrison arrives in El Paso to live with grandparents she’s never met. The minute the fifteen-year-old steps off the train, everything seems wrong. The heat is stifling, her grandfather Luther is cold and appraising and, worse, doesn’t even mention the recent loss of both parents. Her grandmother, Angelica, is remote and childlike and wears only black and diamonds.

When Cooper asked to come live with her grandparents, she thought to help in the family antique business and soon shows her aptitude for the field. But, she soon discovers that Luther not only runs a shady concern but also profits from the Mexican Revolution smuggling arms across the border.

Luther leaves for Mexico with a wagonload of bullets hidden in sacks of corn and is kidnapped by Pancho Villa’s men, and Cooper realizes she’s the only one to carry the ransom to Villa’s camp. She meets a Hollywood actor and cameraman—in El Paso to film Villa’s life—and convinces them to join her in the attempt to rescue her grandfather. The ensuing adventure takes the reader on a wild ride deep into the Mexican countryside.

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