Dancing by the River by Marlin Barton

If the only subjects worthy of a writer’s labor concern certain universal truths, which William Faulkner called the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself, then Marlin Barton has achieved a noble goal with his splendid second collection of stories, “Dancing by the River.” Most of the stories center around several generations of […]

Smonk by Tom Franklin

The first four chapters of Smonk surely rank among the most grotesque, savage and compelling fiction ever written.  Using Alabama in the early 1900s as his setting, Tom Franklin has created two despicably fascinating characters, E.O. Smonk and Evavangeline, for whom violent and creative self-preservation are as natural as breathing.  These two travel along separate […]