Archives for August 2015

September Read of the Month: “The Wiregrass,” by Pam Webber

Reviewed by Phil Jason It’s 1969 and helicopters drum above the town of Crystal Springs, Alabama twice a day. At ten each morning they leave Fort Rucker for a training field: Field 10. Twelve hours later, the choppers leave in formation to make the return trip. The scheduled explosions of light and noise define the […]

“Understanding Richard Russo,” by Kathleen Drowne

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Richard Russo is a beloved novelist known primarily for his stories of life in declining northeastern factory towns, so a reasonable person might question why his work deserves space in a literary review purporting to be southern. In short, the University of South Carolina Press recently released Understanding Richard Russo, a […]

“This Side of the River,” by Jeffrey Stayton

Reviewed by Matthew Simmons 150 years after the end of the Civil War, I sit in Columbia, South Carolina. The banner that the local university’s football coach once called “That Damn Flag” has come down, to the joy of some and the consternation of others. In the spring of this year, I worked on a […]

“From Midnight to Guntown,” by John Hailman

Reviewed by Daniel Sundahl If I remember right there’s a commemorative statue of William Faulkner on the Oxford, Mississippi, City Hall front lawn. He’s seated on a park bench; there’s a patrician elegance to the statue, legs crossed, pipe in hand, a battered (what was likely brown) hat. What’s missing is a glass of “branch […]

“Bull Mountain,” by Brian Panowich

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The ancient story of brother pitted against brother gets a fresh take in Brian Panowich’s debut novel, Bull Mountain, by combining family saga, mystery, and crime with the best elements of literary fiction. The story’s easy yet elegant style, nuanced characters, and gripping plot will earn it many fans. Panowich’s dark, […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Lindsay Parnell, Author of Dogwood

AM: Thanks for taking the time to talk to Southern Literary Review about your novel, Dogwood. This is a remarkable and poignant book, literary fiction at its finest. You toy with stream-of-consciousness and alternating narration in the book. Why? LP: The articulation of Harper’s journey and the journey itself are irreversibility fused together. Harper’s story […]

Excerpt from “BS,” by Steven L. Parker

This excerpt comes from Chapter One of Steven L. Parker’s novel, BS, published by Red Dirt Press of Shawnee, Oklahoma, released in June 2015. Parker serves as an Appellate Judge for the Southern Plains Region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and as District Judge for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. A lawyer by trade, […]

August Read of the Month: “Glimmerglass,” by Marly Youmans

Reviewed by Tara Mettler Marly Youmans’s novel Glimmerglass is a mash-up of the gothic romance, fairy tale, and late-in-life coming-of-age genres. We are taken to the village of Cooper Patent, a town peppered with odd characters and described by one of its villagers as “the most eccentric place I’ve ever lived.” Cynthia Sorrel, a middle-aged […]