“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 […]

“Understanding Richard Russo,” by Kathleen Drowne

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Richard Russo is a beloved novelist known primarily for his stories of life in declining northeastern factory towns, so a reasonable person might question why his work deserves space in a literary review purporting to be southern. In short, the University of South Carolina Press recently released Understanding Richard Russo, a […]

“Fate Moreland’s Widow,” by John Lane, and “Seam Busters,” by Mary Hood

Reviewed by Donna Meredith We all—well, all of us except Lady Godiva, nudists, and that one infamous Emperor of fairytale fame—wear clothes. Yet most of us give little thought to the mill workers who create the fabrics or the seamstresses who sew them. Two recent fiction releases from the University of South Carolina Press explore […]

May Read of the Month: “Study of Scarletts,” by Margaret Donovan Bauer

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Think you know everything there is to know about Scarlett O’Hara? Not so fast! Margaret Donovan Bauer’s newest book will likely have you reexamining the true nature of this American icon. Bauer’s intelligent analysis of five novels with strong female characters in A Study of Scarletts: Scarlett O’Hara and Her Literary […]