Meet the Editors

Allen Mendenhall is publisher and editor-in-chief. Donna Meredith, Charley Hively, and Claire Hamner Matturro serve as associate editors. RIGHT: Photographs by VanessaK Photography, LLC.

Welcome!

The Southern Literary Review celebrates southern authors and their contributions to American literature.  We feature the classic writers who have defined southern literature, and we highlight emerging authors through interviews, profiles, and book reviews. In an effort to back independent bookstores and to encourage creativity in the publishing world, SLR is an IndieBound supporter.

Donna Meredith Interviews Betsy Reeder

Donna Meredith interviews Betsy Reeder for Southern Literary Review. Reeder is the author of an historical trilogy: Madam’s Creek (2017), Broomstraw Ridge (2019), and her latest, Salt in Boiling Water (2022). These stories center around the lives and loves of characters caught up in vivid events of the Civil War and its aftermath in southern […]

“The Heathens: A Quinn Colson novel,” by Ace Atkins

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Quinn Colson, the bold, ethical, and driven sheriff of Tibbehah County, Mississippi, is the worthy protagonist in a well-received eleven-book series by Ace Atkins. In the newest in the series, The Heathens (Putman 2021), a petite seventeen-year-old female, TJ Byrd, and her charming, thieving boyfriend, Ladarius, steal the show. As […]

SLR Interviews Janisse Ray, Author of “Wild Spectacle”

December Read of the Month: “Wild Spectacle,” by Janisse Ray

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Janisse Ray’s writing has always been robust and rich with that magical, evocative touch that pulls her readers into a scene, a thought, an emotion, or an insight. Just as in her acclaimed Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, Ray’s insightful, eloquent writing shines in Wild Spectacle: Seeking Wonders in a […]

“The Incredible Winston Browne,” by Sean Dietrich

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Sean Dietrich’s newest novel, The Incredible Winston Browne (Thomas Nelson 2021) reads as if it is a gift from Dietrich to his readers. It is singularly beautiful. Rich with Dietrich’s trademark everyman eloquence and his profound insights into the human condition, Winston Browne tells the story of a dying man […]

“Florida,” by Lauren Groff

Reviewed by Bonnie Armstrong Groff’s only short story collection, Florida, is an example of her exploration of individuals pitted against not only society but also their own conflicted and, often, unarticulated desires. These stories present themes of domesticity versus wildness; nature as uncaring and uncontrollable; claustrophobic security versus unmoored rootlessness; and Florida as both a […]

“Matrix,” by Lauren Groff

      Reviewed by Donna Meredith Gainesville, Florida, author Lauren Groff is a rising star in the world of fiction writers. She has written six award-winning books, most recently the novel Matrix (Riverhead Books, 2021) and the short story collection Florida (Riverhead Books, 2018). These two works showcase the author’s breadth and depth with […]

“In the City of Murals,” by Blake Sanz

The following is chapter from Blake Sanz’ book The Boundaries of Our Dwelling, reprinted with the permission of University of Iowa Press. In the first days of the couple’s unlikely marriage, it became the airbrush artist’s habit to follow his American wife about the tiny kitchen of their rented house, daydreaming aloud to her in Spanish as […]