Meet the Editors

Publisher and Executive Editor Philip K. Jason is the author or editor of several books. From 1973 to 2001, he taught English and Creative Writing at United States Naval Academy. Allen Mendenhall is a writer, attorney, and educator. He has taught in a university, a law school, a penitentiary, and a Japanese private school. RIGHT: Photographs by VanessaK Photography, LLC.

Welcome!

The Southern Literary Review celebrates southern authors and their contributions to American literature.  We feature the classic writers who have defined southern literature, and we highlight emerging authors through interviews, profiles, and book reviews. In an effort to back independent bookstores and to encourage creativity in the publishing world, SLR is an IndieBound supporter.  

“Suburban Gospel,” by Mark Beaver

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl Mark Beaver’s Suburban Gospel is one more memoir of an adolescent wandering toward adulthood, a Bible Belt Baptist southern version of Roth’s Portnoy but without the gnawing sense of psychological guilt expiated on the analyst’s couch.  It is, on the other hand, exuberantly “guilt-edged,” the saga of a young man […]

“The Redeemers,” by Ace Atkins

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl I’m guessing it would have been 1976, graduate school, and a seminar in the American 1930s, history, literature, political thought, economics, and culture, the latter the more encompassing word in that list.  I thought to make an argument that “nascent” to American Literature during that decade was the emergence of […]

Claire Hamner Matturro Interviews Robert Bailey, Author of “Between Black and White”

CHM: Robert, my goodness, you’ve done it again with Between Black and White. Great story, great characters, authentic sense of place, edge-of-the-chair pacing and a completely surprising ending. So I have to ask to start by asking—the old writers’ adage of “write what you know” is no doubt in play here with the Deep South […]

“Between Black and White,” by Robert Bailey

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Following the success of his powerful debut legal thriller, The Professor (Thomas & Mercer 2015), Bailey offers a second, stunning story in the series. In his novel Between Black and White (Thomas & Mercer March 2016), Bailey establishes beyond doubt that he is an author to be read and reckoned […]

“A Different Harbor,” by Elizabeth Genovise

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl The five stories in Elizabeth Genovise’s A Different Harbor mark her publishing debut and are impressive for their clear-eyed compassion.  The stories are beautifully intimate and intensely direct, poignant journeys into the burl-wood heart of what it means to be not only humanly complicit but also safe from strife while […]

“The Gospel of the Twin,” by Ron Cooper

Reviewed by Donna Meredith With his third novel, The Gospel of the Twin, Ron Cooper delves into very different and far more controversial territory than his earlier fiction, Hume’s Fork and Purple Jesus. Those were satirical in tone, peopled with wacky characters. In The Gospel of the Twin, Judas Didymos Thomas, now eighty years old, […]

“GodPretty in the Tobacco Field,” by Kim Michele Richardson

Reviewed by Philip K. Jason Like its predecessor Liar’s Bench, GodPretty in the Tobacco Field is a powerful coming-of-age story complicated by lingering racial prejudice. The town of Nameless, Kentucky is a place where everyone suffers under the heel of grinding poverty, poor education, and images of a ruthless, punishing God from whom family elders […]

“In the Heart of the Dark Wood,” by Billy Coffey

Reviewed by Katie DePoppe This third installment to Coffey’s series (which can be read in any order) once again pulls the reader into the eerie, ethereal terrain of Mattingly, Virginia. A coming-of-age tale at its most simplistic and a dark-night-of-the-soul journey at its core, the novel, although only loosely grounded in Christian orthodoxy, is unapologetically […]