Archives for March 2016

“The Grace of the Gingko,” by Michael Hardesty

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Given that 2.7 million grandparents are raising grandchildren in the United States, it’s surprising more fiction hasn’t explored those relationships. Michael Hardesty’s debut novel, The Grace of the Gingko (Old Stone Press, 2015), fills that gap with a heart-warming tale of one grandfather’s tender devotion, a story splashed liberally with humor […]

“Last Words of the Holy Ghost,” by Matt Cashion

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl Matt Cashion’s short story collection, Last Words of the Holy Ghost, won the 2015 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, thus announcing a reputable voice in American writing. The twelve stories, however, circle around the more common elements in absurdist fiction: satire, dark humor, the abasement of reason. It’s […]

A conversation: “Walk Till The Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden in Appalachia”

Silence can be “an unfortunate and even dangerous act of submission,” editors Adrian Blevins and Karen Salyer McElmurray write in the preface to this collection of thirty-two essays, Walk Till The Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden in Appalachia (Ohio University Press, 2015). They speak of the enormous expectation from their “workplaces, families, and […]

Jordan Murphy interviews Alex Taylor, Author of “The Marble Orchard”

JM: Thank you for taking some time to answer a few questions. It’s almost been a year since The Marble Orchard was published (congratulations, by the way). What sort of reactions have you been receiving from your debut novel? AT: I have had a few good reviews for the novel, two starred ones from Publishers […]

“The Marble Orchard,” by Alex Taylor

Reviewed by Jordan Murphy The Marble Orchard is author Alex Taylor’s first novel and second major work, alongside his 2010 collection of short stories, The Name of the Nearest River. The Marble Orchard tells the tale of Beam, a young Kentucky boy of nineteen who finds himself wrapped up in a tangle of family history […]

Jordan Murphy

Jordan Murphy is a creative nonfiction writer, foreign language teacher, and goal digger. She is publisher and contributor to many online blogs and is most often found lost in a book from the 19th century. She hails from North Alabama and holds a Bachelor of Science in German Foreign Language Education from Auburn University. Jordan is traveling […]

“Web of Water: Reflections on Life Along the Saluda & Reedy Rivers,” by John Lane with Photography by Tom Blagden, Clay Bolt, jon holloway, and Ben Geer Keys

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl I recall from graduate school years a semester with Wallace Stegner; in an odd crossing of the ways, Paul Horgan came to visit and discuss his Great River: The Rio Grande in North American History.  Stegner and Horgan were lionized in years past; likely the literary fame they once owned […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Deborah Mantella, Author of “My Sweet Vidalia”

AM: You’re a transplant to the South. Yet the rich quality of your language is distinctly, authentically Southern. There’s something Natasha Trethewey about it. You must be a reader of Southern literature. DM: First of all, Allen, I am still trying to wrap my writermind around your Natasha Tretheway reference. I am truly honored. I’ve […]