Scott Gould’s work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Carolina Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, New Madrid Journal, New Stories from the South and New Southern Harmonies, among others. He is a past winner of the Literature Fellowship from the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Fiction Fellowship from the South Carolina Academy of Authors.
Strangers to Temptation takes us to the white sand banks of the Black River in lowcountry South Carolina during the early 1970s, a place in time where religion and race provide the backdrop for an often uneasy coming-of-age. Linked by a common voice, these thirteen stories introduce us to a cast of uniquely Southern characters: a Vietnam vet father with half a stomach who plays a skinny Jesus in the annual Easter play; a mother/nurse attempting to heal the world, all the while sneaking sips of Smirnoff and Tang; a best friend whose reckless dive off a bridge earns him a fake eyeball and a new girlfriend; and our narrator, a baseball-playing, paper-delivering boy just hoping to navigate the crooked path out of adolescence. With the narrator's eventual baptism into adulthood beneath the dark surface of the Black River, Strangers to Temptation reminds all of us what it felt like to be young, confused, and ultimately redeemed.