Short Stories

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Kingdom of the Sun: Stories

James Terry

Set in southwestern New Mexico, the stories in James Terry’s stunning debut explore the joys, insecurities, and failures of memorable characters as they attempt to connect with—or disconnect from—others around them. The elderly landlady of the Darling Courts apartments hires a reclusive handyman who suffers from a fear of water, and the pair forms an unlikely bond. A worker’s unscrupulous plan to build a road in the middle of the desert is threatened by a lonely pregnant woman living in a trailer parked directly in his path. Overcome by nostalgia, a married trucker making the California run from Waco to Los Angeles takes a truck-stop waitress to the Deming drive-in theater with disappointing results. Together, these surprising stories uncover how our environment manifests itself in our everyday lives.


James Terry’s fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the O. Henry Prize, and his stories have appeared in the Iowa Review, the Georgia Review, Fiction, and elsewhere. Raised in Deming, New Mexico, Terry now resides in Liverpool, England.


“An impressive literary debut. . . . The author dazzles with his ability to develop flawed, oddball characters, his penchant for weaving in weather and the landscape as supporting characters, and his smart handling of metaphors.”


Albuquerque Journal

“Stark and stunning.”



5.5 x 8.5 in. 216 pages