“The Timekeeper’s Son,” by Sara Baker

Reviewed by Molly Hurley Moran Set in the fictional Southern town of Milledge, Georgia, Sara Baker’s luminous novel The Timekeeper’s Son moves beyond the issues and conflicts usually associated with such settings to embrace more universal themes concerning human connection, forgiveness, and grace.  The plot revolves around two families who are unknown to each other […]

“Understanding Larry McMurtry,” by Steven Frye

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard Steven Frye’s Understanding Larry McMurtry is a scholarly overview of the Pulitzer-Prize winning author’s body of work. It’s part of the Understanding Contemporary American Literature series published by the University of South Carolina Press. Founded by the late Professor Matthew J. Bruccoli, this series explores modern American writers. Bruccoli is quoted in […]

September Read of the Month: “The Headmaster’s Darlings,” by Katherine Clark

Reviewed by Ashley D. Black Most people who are raised in a small, Southern town would agree that preserving local traditions is of the utmost importance to its residents. At times, however, maintaining a town’s customs can prevent the populace from evolving with the rest of the country both politically and culturally. Those who challenge […]

“Riding on Comets,” by Cat Pleska

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Though her family was hardly perfect, Cat Pleska leaves readers feeling uplifted rather than grungy from being dragged through the dirty laundry in her memoir, Riding on Comets. In part, the warm tone results because she never doubted that her parents wanted the best for her. Without words, they implied that she […]

“Crum,” by Lee Maynard

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Even though the West Virginia town I grew up in is nothing—nothing—like the town of 219 residents Lee Maynard describes in his 1988 novel Crum, I related strongly to this coming-of-age story. The novel is now, deservedly, in its third printing through Vandalia/WVU Press. It is the first volume of a […]

“Fetish and Other Stories,” Second Edition, by Amy Susan Wilson

Reviewed by William Bernhardt Just when the cynics begin to wonder if the short story as a literary form is lost, moribund, or permanently encased in amber, The Balkan Press presents a collection that reminds us how rich, how enriching, and how truly American this form is. Fetish and Other Stories is the second edition […]

August Read of the Month: “Hopscotch,” by Steve Cushman

Reviewed by Claire Matturro Someone draws a hopscotch board on a sidewalk by a hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina. The hospital CEO with a Grinch persona orders it cleared off and a recently released felon, John Deaver, glad for his job as a janitor, erases it. But the chalk hopscotch board reappears on the sidewalk—again […]

“The Southern Philosopher: Collected Essays of John William Corrington,” Edited by Allen Mendenhall

Reviewed by Jay Langdale  Poet, attorney and film-writer John William Corrington was an enigmatic artist whose life (1932-1988) spanned a pivotal era in the history of Southern letters.  Raised Catholic during the Great Depression, Corrington attended Centenary College and completed a graduate degree in Renaissance literature from Rice University as well as a D.Phil from […]