October Read of the Month: “Of Bees and Boys,” by Allen Mendenhall

Reviewed by Yasser El-Sayed Much has already been written about Allen Mendenhall’s new book, Of Bees & Boys: Lines from a Southern Lawyer. The celebrated author William Bernhardt, who penned the forward to the collection of essays, states that “Mendenhall is an artist and writer of the first caliber . . . Time and again […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Steve Wiegenstein, Author of “The Language of Trees”

AM:  So glad Southern Literary Review has a chance to feature your work again, Steve.  Thanks for doing this interview.  I bet when you wrote this book, you couldn’t have anticipated how timely a story about a post-Civil War 19th century community would be. If you turn on the news these days, you see ongoing […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Dan Leach, Author of “Floods and Fires”

AM:  Congratulations on the publication of your collection of stories, Floods and Fires.  We share a publisher—the University of North Georgia Press—as well as a connection to Greenville, South Carolina, where I went to school at Furman.  You graduated from Clemson in 2008.  Were you writing stories then?  DL: Thanks, Allen. Congratulations to you, as […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews DJ Donaldson, Author of “Assassination at Bayou Sauvage”

AM:  Thanks for doing this interview, Don, and congratulations on the publication of your latest in the Andy Broussard mystery series, Assassination at Bayou Sauvage.  How has this series developed over the years? DD: The first book, Cajun Nights, was a very strange story, partially because the editor at St. Martins, who ultimately bought it, asked me […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Lorna Hollifield, Author of “Tobacco Sun”

AM:  Thanks, Lorna, for doing this interview.  The title of your debut novel is Tobacco Sun.  I want to ask you about that title, but first I want to quote from some opening lines of the book.  “Tobacco,” you say, “a strangely fragile, yet willful crop, desperate for survivorship, proved it could somehow adapt to […]

“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 […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Idabel Allen, Author of “Rooted”

AM:  The title of your book is Rooted.  The first line signals that this word, rooted, will take on layers of meaning.  “It all comes from the root,” your narrator says.  “And Grover McQuiston was the root of it all.”  What are you after here?  IA: The opening line of Rooted serves a couple of purposes. As there are […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Jessica Hooten Wilson

AM:  You’ve written three books in quick succession that should appeal to readers of Southern Literary Review.  The first involves Flannery O’Connor, and the second and third, Walker Percy.  I’d like to start by asking about the second book, Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence, because I’m also interested in notions of influence.  Read […]