Allen Mendenhall Interviews Russell Scott, Author of The Hard Times

AM: Thank you for the interview and congratulations on the publication of The Hard Times. This novel opens in Mississippi with an alarming scene involving a doctor—or doctors—and then brings us to Africa. You’re a doctor in Mississippi who’s traveled to Africa. What’s going on here? RS: I guess you write what you know; it […]

“From Midnight to Guntown,” by John Hailman

Reviewed by Daniel Sundahl If I remember right there’s a commemorative statue of William Faulkner on the Oxford, Mississippi, City Hall front lawn. He’s seated on a park bench; there’s a patrician elegance to the statue, legs crossed, pipe in hand, a battered (what was likely brown) hat. What’s missing is a glass of “branch […]

“Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen,” by Lauren Leigh

Reviewed by Amy Susan Wilson Disabilities, a family murder, Mississippi, a mental institution, and the spirit of redemption all appear in Lauren Leigh’s debut novel, Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen. Every chapter, while often bearing brutal abuse in the household of a rural Mississippi family, rings like a bell, clear and resonant with no […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Richelle Putnam, Author of The Inspiring Life of Eudora Welty

AM: Thank you for talking to us about your latest book, The Inspiring Life of Eudora Welty. If my memory is correct, this is the first interview that Southern Literary Review has done about a work in the young-adult (or, as they say, YA) category. I’d like to start by asking about your decision to […]

“A Long Time Gone,” by Karen White

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Take a wounded woman with a good heart and addiction problems. A troubled child who needs love. A dog in need of a home. And a man who has known since childhood the name of the woman he wants to marry. Throw them into the same story, mix thoroughly, and you […]

“Down and Out in Bugtussle, The Mad Fat Road to Happiness,” by Stephanie McAfee

Reviewed by Amy Susan Wilson Down and Out in Bugtussle, The Mad Fat Road to Happiness, by Stephanie McAfee, is hilarious. It is not merely a “chick-lit” exploration of female issues—it resonates not only because of its superbly crafted world of women who create a sense of community for themselves, but also because it explores […]

October Read of the Month: “When Mountains Move,” by Julie Cantrell

  Reviewed by Donna Meredith From the outset, wrenching secrets handicap Millie and Bump’s marriage in When Mountains Move, the sequel to Julie Cantrell’s debut Into the Free. You don’t have to read the debut first to enjoy the sequel, but you should. Cantrell’s first novel won Christy awards for Best Debut Novel and for […]

“Remembering Medgar Evers,” by Minrose Gwin

Reviewed by Chris Timmons Medgar Evers should be of interest to anyone who has examined the racial history of the United States, and of the South. It’s too bad he is now near-forgotten. Undoubtedly, general American forgetfulness has much to do with it; as far as history goes, Americans do not have much memory. Nor […]