“The Ex-Suicide,” by Katherine Clark

  Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl A few brief words on this novel’s title, first of all, since it philosophically “lurks.” We know that Walker Percy was no stranger to suicide with a good list of his family members having taken their own lives, and with Percy himself suffering from melancholy, an ailment different from […]

“This Vast Southern Empire,” by Matthew Karp

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl Few today would recognize the name George Washington Lafayette Bickley. He lived an adventurous life which included practicing medicine in Virginia although there’s evidence he lacked the credentials. His larger interests were Southern; in the late 1850s he traveled throughout the South promoting a militia campaign to seize Mexico. A […]

“One Good Mama Bone,” by Bren McClain

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl To begin: This is a book about a woman who talks to a cow and comes to believe she can learn some things from the cow, Big Mama Red, whose child is a steer named Lucky. The woman is Sarah Creamer and the novel is set in the 1950s in […]

“Forsaken,” by Ross Howell Jr.

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl American Experience is a television history series covering a range of people and events in American history, documentaries which bring to life compelling stories that inform our understanding of America. We have to imagine timelines: March 25, 1931, a fight breaks out between white and black young men riding as […]

February Read of the Month: “Kiss of the Jewel Bird,” by Dale Cramer

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl All things being equal: Possessed by spiritual dissatisfaction, or a hunger for knowledge or mastery, Faust makes a pact with the devil. It’s an old legend, of course, with tales told as early as the 1500s, and the stuff of drama, Marlowe and Goethe, and then Thomas Mann. The Faustian […]

“Rise and Shine,” by Johnathan Scott Barrett

  Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl Our late friend Bill Borland was from Eudora, Arkansas; he loved to cook gumbos and such and hush puppies. Once, before we were on our way to his home for dinner, my wife asked me what a hush puppy was and I said cornmeal, wheat flour, eggs, salt, baking […]