The Grass Creek Chronicle is set in a Wyoming oil field camp during World War II, with a 10-year-old girl as its protagonist and observant chronicler. Though the war seems a distant rumble, it becomes more immediate when a Japanese internment camp is built on nearby Heart Mountain. While the child observer doesn't judge either the adults or other children with whom she interacts, the fragments of life in wartime with which she builds her story show over and over how mundane choices, both her own and of those around her, often have impactful, momentous, and sometimes hurtful consequences. And in an irony fit for cruel times, the two adults most deserving of her admiration are her Bavarian grandfather and a young Japanese man from the internment camp.
PAT CARR WAS born in a Wyoming oil camp in the middle of nowhere, but she grew up in Texas. She has a B.A. and an M.A. from Rice, a Ph.D. from Tulane, and she's taught literature and creative writing at various colleges across the South, most recently at Western Kentucky University. Carr has published sixteen books, including The Women in the Mirror, winner of the prestigious Iowa Short Fiction Award, and If We Must Die, runner-up for the PEN Book Awards. She's also published over a hundred short stories in such places as The Southern Review and Best American Short Stories. She's garnered numerous other prizes for her writing, including the South and West Fiction Award, a Library of Congress Marc IV, an NEH, the Texas Institute of Letters Short Story Award, an Al Smith Writing Award, and the LaVigny Writing Fellowship in Geneva, Switzerland. Her most recent collection of short stories, The Death of a Confederate Colonel (University of Arkansas Press, 2007) was a Faulkner Award nominee, a winner of both the PEN Southwest Fiction Award and the John Estes Cooke Civil War Fiction Award, and was chosen by Foreword Magazine as one of the top ten books of 2007 published by university presses. Her memoir, One Page at a Time: On a Writing Life (Texas Tech University Press), and the writing text she'd been meaning to write for years, Writing Fiction with Pat Carr (High Hill Press) appeared in 2010, and the former was a finalist for the Willa Cather Non-fiction Award. Her most recent book, The Radiance of Fossils, was released in 2012.