February Read of the Month: “The Kudzu Queen” by Mimi Herman

Mimi Herman’s The Kudzu Queen (Regal House, 2023) is the kind of feel-good story we read to escape from stress and trouble. And don’t you just love a novel that not only entertains but also teaches something new? Most of us know kudzu as a noxious weed, but the plant has a surprising history in […]

Dawn Major interviews Scott Gould

I was introduced to Scott Gould through another South Carolina author, George Singleton. I reviewed Gould’s short story collection Strangers to Temptation and his first novel, Whereabouts on my blog, SouthernRead. He also wrote a memoir recently, Things That Crash, Things That Fly that is still on my “Must Read” stack. I didn’t know what […]

Literary Books in Brief

This month Southern Literary Review takes a look at three recent publications from the University of Mississippi Press that focus on an aspect of Southern literature. “William Faulkner Day by Day” by Carl Rollyson I winced when I first saw the chronological, diary-like entries of William Faulkner Day by Day. I thought that format couldn’t […]

Donna Meredith interviews Mitzi Dorton, author of “Chief Corn Tassel”

Mitzi Dorton grew up in the southern Appalachian foothills in a town where tribes met since ancient times and smoked pipes of peace, and where Chief Corn Tassel spoke at one of the treaty meetings. There, she often walked between two time periods on the swinging bridge across the Holston River in Kingsport, Tennessee to […]

“Another World: Ballet Lessons from Appalachia” by Edwina Pendarvis

Ballet is probably not the first kind of dancing people associate with Appalachia, Edwina Pendarvis acknowledges in the introduction to Another World: Ballet Lessons from Appalachia. Yet for the twenty-four women Pendarvis interviews for this engaging book, ballet assumed considerable importance in their lives. The fond memories and photographs of ballet lessons gathered for this […]

“Hell of a Book” by Jason Mott

You’d think it would be easy to write a hell of a book review for a book titled Hell of a Book (Dutton, 2021). It isn’t. Jason Mott pulls off a literary magic trick that’s hard to define. Mott manages to swirl humor, imagination and lyrical language through the grim story of a Black child […]