Allen Mendenhall Interviews Katherine Clark, Author of The Harvard Bride and The Ex-Suicide

AM:  I’m only now reading The Harvard Bride, which I somehow missed upon its release, and now we’re on the verge of the publication of The Ex-Suicide.  I’d like to talk to you about both books. KC: Don’t forget The Headmaster’s Darlings and All the Governor’s Men, the first two novels in the Mountain Brook […]

“Turning the page: Same South, new voice?” essay by Lauren K. Denton

Essay by Lauren K. Denton Writers come from everywhere, yet it seems the South produces them at a higher rate than usual. Here, we tell stories—those we make up and others that have been passed down through generations. Maybe it’s easier—or more necessary—to tell stories down South, to put fictional lives on paper to make […]

“The Cigar Factory: A Novel of Charleston,” by Michele Moore

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl I recall my first visit to Charleston a year or so after Hurricane Hugo.  Driving south to north along the coastal roads, I made side trips into the South Carolina Low Country where I found isolation and the remnants of the Gullah people.  I had been unbeknownst driving along and […]

“Jacob Jump,” by Eric Morris

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl Pat Conroy prefaces Eric Morris’s first novel by placing him in a pantheon of southern writers whose theme is darkness: Cormac McCarthy, Ron Rush, and Flannery O’Connor. One could be “tripped up” by arguing such. It’s equally likely that Morris’s first novel could be placed in a larger context: any […]

“Untying the Moon,” by Ellen Malphrus

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl It’s been four decades since Harold Bloom published The Anxiety of Influence. Bloom’s theory is that creative writers are hindered in their work because they maintain ambiguous relationships with precursor writers. He’s enlarged his theory these days by referencing precursor writers as “daemons.” I mention this because in his foreword […]

“Dream Chaser,” by Pat Spears

Review by Donna Meredith Dream Chaser, by Pat Spears, delivers an iconic figure as the protagonist: a Southern blue collar drunk struggling to hold onto a job and his family. That’s hardly a new story, but the author renders Jesse McKnight with such compassion and prose so perfect that Dream Chaser easily ranks as one […]

November Read of the Month: “Moonrise,” by Cassandra King

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Remember reading Daphne DuMarier’s Rebecca when you were younger and loving it? So did acclaimed novelist Cassandra King, and now she has written her own gothic tale of a new bride whose curiosity about a first wife might uncover more than she wants to know. The release of Moonrise on September […]

March Read of the Month: “The Books that Mattered,” by Frye Gaillard

Reviewed by Allen Mendenhall “My first encounters with books were disappointing.”  That’s a curious opening line for a memoir about reading inspirational books, but an apt one, too, because Frye Gaillard anticipates right away how he will treat reading: not as an activity undertaken in isolation or as an exercise liberating readers from the quotidian […]