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.

SLR Interviews Christy Alexander Hallberg

September Read of the Month: “The Committee,” by Sterling Watson

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro With eight books to his credit, Sterling Watson has long been a powerful author, but he raises the bar considerably in The Committee (Akashic Books 2020), a compelling historical novel about the havoc the so-called Johns Committee wreaked on the University of Florida in the late 1950s. With impeccable accuracy […]

“Craft and Conviction: Gail Godwin’s History of the Heart,” by Kerstin W. Shands

Essay by Kerstin W. Shands Gail Godwin’s Heart: A Natural History of the Heart-Filled Life stems from a moment in time when Godwin had just re-read Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. She had been thinking about a new novel regarding “a woman’s journey into a heart of darkness where she would have to confront her shadow” […]

“With Teeth,” by Kristen Arnett

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Kristen Arnett’s novel With Teeth (Riverhead Books, 2021) is a literary novel that bites. From the first scenes, it sinks its teeth in and refuses to let go. Yet it is a deeply troubling read. It left me wondering if some women, like the protagonist Sammie, might be born without mothering […]

“The Wrong Side,” by Robert Bailey

Reviewed by Claire Matturro The Wrong Side (Thomas and Mercer 2021) is very much a Robert Bailey legal thriller—which is to say it is a riveting book full of intrigue, last ditch chances, compelling characters, an enthralling, well-paced energetic story line, and a plot twist at the end readers won’t see coming. Bailey, as an […]

August Read of the Month: “Wayward Girls,” by Claire Matturro and Penny Koepsel

Reviewed by Donna Meredith What dark secrets lurk behind the walls of Talbot Hall for Girls? Which adults might prove allies of the teens—and which ones can’t be trusted? Can the girls even trust each other? Sizzling with tension and intriguing characters, Wayward Girls, by Claire Matturro and Penny Koepsel, is set in a creepy […]

“Pop: An Illustrated Novel,” by Robert Gipe

Reviewed by Julia Lindsay Pop closes out Robert Gipe’s Appalachian illustrated novel trilogy with a wonderfully queer and apocalyptic coda. It ties up loose ends from the two previous novels that share the same subtitle, Trampoline (2015) and Weedeater (2018), while still acknowledging that life is not neat, that not all loose ends can be […]

Julia Lindsay

Julia Lindsay was born and raised in North Carolina and received her B.A and M.A in English from Appalachian State University. She is now a Ph.D candidate at the University of Georgia, combining her interest in SF and Southern literature in her research on contemporary Afrofuturist texts taking place in the American South. She has […]