I don't think I've met someone as immediately, disarmingly sweet & intellectually engaged as Cary Holladay. I only spoke with her for about fifteen minutes last night after her reading but I feel like she would let me move into her guest room if I needed to (I don't need to). She gave a truly extraordinary reading at Wesleyan. I'd read & enjoyed her story "Interview" that was on Blackbird, & the story & intro she read last not only expanded my affection for her work.
She's working at a place that mixes up magical realism, southern gothic & community-oriented fiction to the extent that each factor is transformed. But she also has extraordinarily graceful narrative moves that take serious risks & pull them off without being all cocksure about it. And her stories open up a tension of psychological space--each character has a hidden space inside of them that as a reader you want to fill in, while the story doesn't give you the simple answer. In short, she writes a fine story.
I haven't read the whole thing yet, but you should check out her recent collection, The Quick-Change Artist, which is entirely set in Glen Allen, Virginia, which is right outside of Richmond. I love Richmond.