The essential anthology of early short fiction by an American master. Set primarily in Texas and Oklahoma during the Great Depression, these extraordinary stories display the unique blend of irony, nostalgia, and sharp-edged lyricism that established William Humphrey as one of America's finest chroniclers of small-town life. In 'The Last Husband,' a bright-eyed newlywed bears witness to the cynical intrigues of an older married couple. 'The Human Fly' is the darkly humorous story of a young man's misguided attempt to create a new identity for himself in the rural Texas community where his name has become a running joke. 'Quail for Mr. Forester' is the tender and precisely detailed portrait of a young Southern boy yearning for the glorious past he never knew. In 'The Rainmaker,' a self-proclaimed professor of the elements is tarred, feathered, and run out of town for raising a dust storm instead of delivering the promised downpour. He escapes across the Red River and finally succeeds in bringing an end to the drought, only to be forced to flee yet again when a three-day deluge results in disastrous flooding. Marked by the same originality and artistry that distinguished Home from the Hill and The Ordways as two of the finest novels in American literature, The Collected Stories of William Humphrey is a testament to the breathtaking scope of its author's vision and the graceful precision of his craft. This ebook features an illustrated biography of William Humphrey including rare photos form the author's estate.