The Convict and Other Stories

The Convict and Other Stories

One of the country’s most-acclaimed and popular novelists offers a selection of a dozen short stories set in James Lee Burke’s most beloved milieu, the Deep South.

“America’s best novelist” (The Denver Post), two-time Edgar Award winner James Lee Burke is renowned for his lush, suspense-charged portrayals of the Deep South—the people, the crime, the hope and despair infused in the bayou landscape. This stunning anthology takes us back to where Burke's heart and soul beat—the steamy, seamy Gulf Coast—in complex and fascinating tales that crackle with violence and menace, meshing his flair for gripping storytelling with his urbane writing style.
  • Pocket Books | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416599258 | 
  • March 2009
List Price $22.00 (price may vary by retailer)


To download a file to your computer right-click on the link and choose 'save file as'

High Resolution Images

Any use of an author photo must include its respective photo credit

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author James Lee Burke. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book. 


James Lee Burke transports readers to the Gulf coasts of Louisiana and Texas and to battlefields around the world in the nine stories in this powerful and atmospheric collection, exploring themes of guilt, memory, war, and race.

In “The Pilot,” a man fixes his troubled marriage in his own inimitable way. “Taking a Second Look” is the story of a professor coping with grief who finds consolation not in the classroom but on a neighborhood ball field. In “Lower Me Down with a Golden Chain,” an American journalist’s decision to investigate both sides of a Guatemalan civil war has unexpected consequences. Narrated by a young boy, the title story depicts race relations in the South through the lens of one family’s experience.

Vivid and original, thought-provoking and poignant, these and the five other tales in this collection probe the mysteries of the human mind and heart—and the complex circumstances in which we sometimes find ourselves.

Questions for Discussion see more

More Books from this Author

The Jealous Kind
House of the Rising Sun
Cadillac Jukebox
Wayfaring Stranger

About the Author

James Lee Burke
Photograph by James McDavid

James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke is a New York Times bestselling author, two-time winner of the Edgar Award, and the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in Fiction. A legend of the mystery genre, he's authored thirty-two novels and two short story collections including Robicheaux, Light of the WorldCreole Belle, Swan Peak, The Tin Roof Blowdown, and Feast Day of Fools. He lives in Misoula, Montana.


Related Websites