“The Path Was Steep,” by Susan Pickett

Reviewed by Morgan O’Grady Susan Pickett was on my mind as I crossed Alabama’s state line after leaving West Virginia the same morning: her well-fed babies, her cutting hair in the yard and selling the excess food from her father’s land. She was an Alabama native transplanted to West Virginia during the Depression. Her memoir, […]

“The Mockingbird Next Door,” by Marja Mills

Reviewed by Allen Mendenhall Nelle Harper Lee has been embroiled in lawsuits over the last couple of years and making headlines for her alleged litigiousness. Marja Mills’s The Mockingbird Next Door is a welcome and timely look at Nelle (as her friends and family call her) from another angle, one that offers us a fuller […]

“The Salvation of Miss Lucretia,” by Ted Dunagan

Reviewed by Mollie Waters The Salvation of Miss Lucretia is the fourth installment in Ted Dunagan’s series for young adult readers. The books feature two young boys, one white and one black, who are able to overcome the difficulties of the segregated South during the 1940s in order to form a lasting friendship. In their […]

“Emigration to Liberia,” by Matthew F.K. McDaniel

Reviewed by Allen Mendenhall Emigration to Liberia is the story of the nearly 500 African-Americans who left Columbus, Georgia, and Eufaula, Alabama, from 1853 to 1903, to emigrate to Liberia, the West African nation that was founded in 1822 by United States colonization. Matthew F.K. McDaniel marshals evidence from written correspondence and newspapers to piece […]

Mollie Smith Waters Interviews Ted Dunagan

Ted Dunagan was born in 1943 in Coffeeville, Alabama. He completed the second grade there and then moved to Grove Hill, where he graduated from high school in 1961. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era, after which he attended Georgia State University in Atlanta. Later, he married, began raising a family, […]

December Read of the Month: “Dancing Naked in Dixie,” by Lauren Clark

Reviewed by J.R. Baldwin  Award-winning travel writer Julia Sullivan is jet-lagged and on-deadline when she arrives back in New York. As she mentally prepares for a week in office, she is called into the editor’s office. Her new boss is a surprise, personally related, and not a welcome face. Even more so when Julia’s job […]

“Leaving Tuscaloosa,” by Walter Bennett

Reviewed by Amy Susan Wilson In his novel Leaving Tuscaloosa, Walter Bennett creates a haunting fictional world steeped in a gripping story that raises questions regarding our moral obligations to human communities. The novel is set in the Deep South of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 1962. This is the year before Bull Connor turned his fire […]

“The Darkling,” by Carolyn Haines as R. B. Chesterton

Reviewed by Mollie Waters When Carolyn Haines presented her new work The Darkling at the Alabama Book Festival in April 2013, the question on her audience’s mind was who in the world is R. B. Chesterton? Haines is best known for her popular crime novels the Bones series, which has a devoted following, but she […]