This anthology, arriving in Tennessee's bicentennial year, is a bountiful showcase of the state's rich literary output. Like its predecessor, the widely read Homewords, published in 1986 for Tennessee's Homecoming, this new volume feature fiction, poetry, and nonfiction by living writers - from senior literati such as Shelby Foote, John Egerton, and Nikki Giovanni to numerous newly emerging talents, including Ann Patchett, Steve Womack, and Jerome Wilson. The writings contained here are of such rich and marvelous variety that they elude easy reduction to a set of common themes or concerns. Readers of this book, says editor Phyllis Tickle in her preface, will discover the pervasive influence of Native American culture upon Tennessee's worldview - "not so much overt and politically correct as inherent and incorporated." Beyond that, however, the selections are, if anything, characterized by the relative absence of those qualities usually associated with southern literature: the legacy of the Civil War, dialect and colloquialisms, and, most notably, "a sense of place." Yet, however much the posture of Tennessee writers may have shifted from regionalist to citizen of the moment, something essential remains. Throughout these pages, Tickle notes, "there resides the kind of dry, wise humor that is born of endurance and the secured perspective of those who know where and what home is ... which is why, in the end, we settled upon our title, HomeWorks - that is, works of the heart and mind, done from and for home."