Known primarily for her novels--The Green Kingdom (1957), Abel's Daughter (1960), and A Walk in the Spring Rain (1966)--and her nonfiction work The Orchard Children (1977), Rachel Maddux was also a prolific writer of short fiction, leaving more than two dozen unpublished stories when she died in 1983. As Nancy A. Walker notes in her introduction to the present volume, anyone familiar with Maddux's previously published work will recognize these stories as the products of Maddux's imagination and experience. Maddux believed that her fiction depicted "the way things are" at a given place and time: the barter system used by small businesses during the Depression, the discomfort of a little girl meeting her first celebrity, the human drama that goes on in an unremarkable small town in Oklahoma. Her fiction often captures the particular flavor of everyday life during definable periods in twentieth-century America. "The House in the Woods," "Guaranteed," and "Change" evoke the World War II period from the perspective of the wives of servicemen, while "No Smoking, No Spitting," "The Little Woman," and "They're Laughing" afford glimpses of the lives of Depression-era workers. Yet these stories are not merely period pieces, nor are they in any sense nostalgic. Instead, they capture the precise moment in an effort to locate the fragile, yet crucial, quality of true human connectedness. Maddux defined the inspiration for her writing as "the re-capturing of one's own childhood," a period when "there is a continual teeter-totter of the real and the imaginary, the subconscious and the conscious mind." The strange, almost surreal element of many of these stories come from their origin in the intersection between the child-like imagination, in which anything is possible, and the skill of the mature writer who gives the imagination shape. Other books by Maddux to be published the University of Tennessee Press are A Walk in the Spring Rain, together with The Orchard Children; The Green Kingdom; and Abel's Daughter. Already published is her autobiography, Communication, with her novella, Turnip's Blood.