“The Final Days of Great American Shopping,” by Gilbert Allen

Reviewed by Allen Mendenhall With so many journals and genres available today, the dependable reviewer has a duty to warn off the noble optimists and advise the faint-hearted when a book is not for them.  Obligation thus requires that I caution readers:  Gilbert Allen’s The Final Days of Great American Shopping, a collection of short […]

“Soon,” by Pam Durban

Reviewed by Dan Sundahl Came a time I drove into old man Engebretson’s farm yard, late 1950s, southern Minnesota. It was a good bright day with a light sugary coating of snow on the ground. The old man had a 40-acre duck pond on his farm and corn rows to walk, ducks and pheasants in […]

Pinckney Benedict’s Miracle Boy and Other Stories

Click to Order Pinckney Benedict’s third collection of stories, Miracle Boy and other Stories, fearlessly merges Benedict’s well-established literary style with a darker, more “popular” approach to storytelling. Born to a family of West Virginia dairy farmers, and a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, Benedict burst onto the literary fiction scene in 1987 with […]

Ugly to Start With, by John Michael Cummings

      Ugly to Start With By John Michael Cummings  Reviewed by Niles Reddick      On the heels of his Paterson Prize-winning novel The Night I Freed John Brown, John Michael Cummings has offered fans another look at the historical and picturesque Harpers Ferry, West Virginia in his new collection Ugly to Start With.      […]

Three Must-Read Short Story Collections

    Tired of buying electronics or golf gadgets for Father’s Day. Hook your father figure up with a sweet read this month instead. Even if the men in your life don’t have the attention span for a novel or memoir, they will enjoy these powerful literary shorts…but old and new. Warning: These are so good, you might […]

Small Displacements Nails Turning Points in Characters’ Lives

Click to Buy   Small Displacements Review by Donna Meredith      When I was given Vanessa Furse Jackson’s short story collection Small Displacements, I almost sent it back. I’m glad I didn’t. I don’t often warm up to short stories the way I do to novels, perhaps because I don’t get to spend enough time […]

Dream Fishing, by Scott Ely

Reviewed by Adele Annesi Novelist, ex-soldier and short story fisher king Scott Ely offers an extraordinarily memorable catch in his latest collection, Dream Fishing.  From the appropriately accessible “Wasps,” with its comparatively youthful voice and subject, to the profound “Guatemala City,” Ely continually casts his stories in deeper waters. His sometimes untidy but probing prose […]

The End of a Good Party, by Jean Ross Justice

Review by Peter Schmitt Through blood and marriage, Jean Ross Justice figures among one of America’s most distinguished literary families: her sister is poet Eleanor Ross Taylor, wife of fiction writer Peter Taylor; and her husband was the Miami-born poet Donald Justice, who died in 2004.  And while only obliquely autobiographical, it is the endless […]