Oedipus, Jemima Puddle-Duck, and “Astonishing Primitives”

“How to Read a Novel” by Caroline Gordon Cluny Media Edition, 2019; Originally published, 1953 “The Malefactors” by Caroline Gordon Cluny Media Edition, 2019; Originally published, 1956   Review Essay by Edwina Pendarvis Caroline Gordon’s How to Read a Novel is a little outdated, but still intriguing in its observations on the novel. Because her […]

If You Want to Understand Code-Switching, You Need to Read Jean Toomer’s “Cane”

Toomer’s groundbreaking 1923 work reflects the complexity of racial performance By Lee Williams As the Harlem Renaissance skipped to a run, the South Georgian characters of Jean Toomer’s Cane demonstrated what present day Black Americans know all too well: to survive the collisions of racial trauma or violence, one has to switch identities. Constantly. Published in 1923, […]

David Bottoms’s “Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump”: Forty Years Later

Essay by Steven Croft After forty years, David Bottoms remains a poet of Georgia who, like other great Southern writers of place, e.g., Faulkner, O’Connor, McCullers, is able to make the markedly regional universal. Author of nine full-length books of poetry, Bottoms increasingly asks through the arc of these books, to quote Wallace Stevens in […]

How “I Love to Write Day” Got Started

By John Riddle In the spring of 2002, I was driving from my home in Delaware to the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s conference in Asheville, North Carolina, where I was scheduled to speak.  My oldest daughter, Bonnie, was in the car with me; she was a college student at the time and interested in attending some […]

“Published Prosperity: Gail Godwin’s Writer’s Memoir,” by Kerstin W. Shands

Essay by Kerstin W. Shands Journals and memoirs are both self-narratives, but they are written from different viewpoints and for different reasons. Gail Godwin’s journals from the 1960s, The Making of a Writer, take us back to a present when no one could know how things would turn out and before Godwin herself could be […]

“Unpublished Prosperity: Gail Godwin’s Journals of Apprenticeship,” by Kerstin W. Shands

Essay by Kerstin W. Shands We may think of great writers as fully fledged—born with astonishing powers of perception and creation. Surprisingly, however, research suggests that creativity can be learned and developed, in which case great writers might not be so different from the rest of us after all. Before any kind of breakthrough, they […]