NC Literary Hall of Fame



Lock & Load: Armed Fiction by Deirdra McAfee and BettyJoyce Nash

University of New Mexico Press
$24.95, paperback / $18.45, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-8263-5908
October, 2017
Fiction: Literary
Available from your local bookstore or

"A brilliant anthology . . . one of the very best. A gun gives a story heft; because of that heft, even a humorous story reminds us of its essential seriousness. These stories are sad, sweet, hilarious, thoughtful, and satirical."
—Kelly Cherry, author of Temporium: Before the Beginning to After the End

"Though we’re talking about cowboys, Portuguese gang members, returned veterans, or abandoned women, there’s always one more character on the page than you thought there was: the gun. . . . The stories we have here don't take a side, because they shouldn't; they do what important literature does: ask questions. It's the reader who must decide how to answer."
—Cully Perlman, author of The Losses

"A powerful, challenging and often exquisite response to our lethally dangerous gun culture. These stories reveal our complicated relationship to weapons."
—Roxana Robinson, author of Cost; Sparta

Compelling stories whose subject is guns, by American masters like Annie Proulx, John Edgar Wideman, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Rick DeMarinis, Pinckney Benedict, and Jim Tomlinson, plus a host of new voices. Groundbreaking, timely, deeply American. Lock & Load brings readers into nineteen strange, beautiful, troubling, amazing worlds in which all the guns are loaded.

Deirdra McAfee's fiction has appeared in Shenandoah, The Georgia Review, Confrontation, Willow Springs, The Diagram, and others. McAfee has been in residence at MacDowell, Ucross, Ragdale, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, among others, and in France and Germany. She received an MFA in fiction from the New School and an MA in English literature from Georgetown (

BettyJoyce Nash's fiction has appeared in NDQ, the Broad River Review, and C-Ville. The winner of the 2015 F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Contest, Nash has received residencies at MacDowell, Ragdale, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland, among others. Before turning to fiction, Nash reported for daily newspapers throughout the South. She received an MFA in fiction from Queens University and an MS in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism. She teaches creative writing at WriterHouse, in Charlottesville, Virginia (

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