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 associate dean at Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. Donna Meredith is the widely acclaimed author of several books, and a distinguished journalist and reviewer. 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.  

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Marjorie Herrera Lewis, Author of “When the Men Were Gone”

APM:  Marjorie, so happy we get to chat about When the Men Were Gone, your novel that features protagonist Tylene Wilson, a teacher during World War II who winds up coaching a high school football team.  There’s a sort of A League of Their Own vibe to the book.  When did you think up this […]

August Read of the Month: “The Nickel Boys,” by Colson Whitehead

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Colson Whitehead once more proves the sheer power of his talent with The Nickel Boys (Doubleday, 2019), a heartbreaking, chilling story about an innocent black youth sent to a hellish reform school in North Florida during the Jim Crow days. While the book is fiction, what makes it so devastating […]

The 31st Annual Southern Festival of Books

The 31st Annual Southern Festival of Books is set to return to downtown Nashville on October 11-13. The lineup this year will feature notable names like Ann Patchett, acclaimed author and owner of Nashville’s own Parnassus Books, Ottessa Moshfegh, Samantha Power, Casey Cep, Karen Abbott, Saeed Jones, Karen Thompson Walker, and Paul Theroux. As the […]

“The Leaf Does Not Believe It Will Fall,” By Marina Brown

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Marina Brown’s The Leaf Does Not Believe It Will Fall is, in a word, genuine. Written with heartfelt honesty and thoughtful insights, this collection of poetry is both eloquent and graceful. Brown’s poems find that delicate balance between exposure and restraint, leaving a touch of mystery. The craftsmanship is consistently […]

“Watermelons, Nooses, and Straight Razors: Stories from the Jim Crow Museum,” by David Pilgrim with a foreword by Debby Irving

Reviewed by Phyllis Wilson Moore Watermelons, Nooses, and Straight Razors: Stories from the Jim Crow Museum (PM Press, 2018), by sociologist, author, and lecturer Dr. David Pilgrim, is a ground-breaking scholarly work. In it he highlights and explores the impact that racist artifacts and demeaning images have on the maligned race as well as on […]

“A Pure Heart,” by Rajia Hassib

Reviewed by Donna Meredith In Rajia Hassib’s A Pure Heart (Viking, 2019), characters present different versions of themselves, depending on where they are and whom they are with—as we all do. The result is multi-faceted characters with secrets kept even from closest friends and family. Hassib’s novel shines as one of the finest explorations of […]

“Stars of Alabama,” by Sean Dietrich

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Sean Dietrich’s Stars of Alabama is a beautiful novel, mesmerizing with its complex characters, lush settings, and lyrical language. It is, quite simply, Southern literature at its finest. Written with wisdom, insight, and captivating diction, it is poignant and hopeful, engaging and vivid, full of people who might have died […]

July Read of the Month: “Privilege,” by Claire Matturro

Reviewed by Donna Meredith On the first page of Claire Matturro’s steamy mystery Privilege, 18-year-old Ruby asks criminal defense attorney Gardner Randolph if she can trust him. He leers at Ruby’s chest and already readers want to sound the warning: “No! Don’t trust him!” But she is young, homeless, in trouble with the law and […]