Archives for July 2016

“All the Governor’s Men,” by Katherine Clark

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl I title this review “The Overly-Stuffed Novel,” a designation that calls attention to Willa Cather’s credo stated with some punchy forcefulness in her essay “The Novel Demeuble.”  The point is simple enough: Aesthetically, the novel does not merely catalog the furniture of life, physical things, processes, sensations, thoughts.  She analogizes […]

“The Stone Necklace,” by Carla Damron

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl In my years as a college professor at a small, private liberal arts college, administration, faculty, and staff were in loco parentis; it was understood that the professor took on some of the functions and responsibilities of a parent. It’s a curious status, however, with interesting premises both psychological and […]

“Where the Souls Go,” by Ann Hite

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl Ann Hite’s Where the Souls Go is subtitled “A Black Mountain Novel.”  It’s the third in her series of novels rooted in this complicated, mystical, wispy place. For the geographically challenged, North Carolina’s Black Mountain is part of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains region, old mountains steeped in mystery […]

“My Southern Journey,” by Rick Bragg

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Rick Bragg can spin a charming, compelling story about coleslaw—that’s the range of this man’s creativity and talent, which I’ve been appreciating since reading (savoring) his hauntingly beautiful memoir about growing up hard, fast and poor in Alabama, All Over But The Shouting (Pantheon 1997). I wasn’t the only one […]

“Over the Plain Houses,” by Julia Franks

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl The title for Julia Franks’s novel is drawn from an Anne Sexton poem, “Her Kind”:  “I have gone out, a possessed witch, / haunting the black air, braver at night; / dreaming evil, I have done my hitch /over the plain houses, light by light . . . .”   The […]

Sean Ennis Interviews Lindsay Starck, Author of “Noah’s Wife”

SE:  Early on in the novel, it’s clear you want readers to have the biblical story of Noah in mind. Out of all of the strange and powerful stories from Genesis, what specifically about that one was compelling to you?  Why did a sort of retelling of it seem necessary now? LS:  First and foremost, […]

July Read of the Month: “Noah’s Wife,” by Lindsay Starck

Reviewed by Sean Ennis Lindsay Starck’s debut novel, Noah’s Wife, centers on a town inexplicably inundated with a soaking, seemingly never-ending rain. The subsequent flooding threatens the local economy and tests the faith of the community in terms of whether to see the storm through (the rain must end sometime, right?) or abandon the town […]