Essay by Kerstin W. Shands A whirlwind story of news-chasing and publishing seen through the eyes of a young heroine, Gail Godwin’s Queen of the Underworld (Ballantine 2007) recalls the dynamic newspaper offices sparkling with collegial competition and smart repartee in American movies from the 1940s. During her first week as a staff reporter at […]

Memory and the Music of Time: “Evenings at Five” by Gail Godwin

ESSAY BY KERSTIN W. SHANDS If love and work, as Freud proposed, are the key components of human happiness, the novelist-composer couple in Gail Godwin’s Evenings at Five have been supremely blessed. For close to three decades, Rudy and Christina have been living and working together in superb synchronicity and creative resonance. When their passionate […]

“Cormac McCarthy: The Great Optimist of American Literature” by James Wade

Associate Editor Dawn Major has not had the pleasure of meeting author, James Wade, who wrote the following piece, “Cormac McCarthy: The Great Optimist of American Literature.” She met him through another fellow Southern author. If anything, the Southern writing world is a small one. Everyone knows everyone in the end, well…maybe not Cormac McCarthy […]

“Lick the Sherbet Sky: Reflections of a Writer’s Residency” by Robert Gwaltney

“You are overweight,” Tonya, the Delta Airlines desk attendant tells me. “It’ll be an additional two hundred dollars.” Judgement seeps from Tonya’s guinea hen eyes, slips from the corners of her mouth in spittle. How dare you, I think to myself, looking down at Miss Audrey Hepburn, my suitcase. (I call my suitcase Miss Audrey […]

Legal Thrillers: Why we love them—and reviews of three new ones

Essay and Reviews by Claire Hamner Matturro What is it about legal thrillers that consistently entice readers who return to time and time again to this genre? Maybe it starts with the enduring legacy of To Kill a Mockingbird, American’s most beloved book, according to a PBS poll. At its core, Mockingbird  is a classic […]

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2019; Originally published, 1956   Review Essay by Edwina Pendarvis Caroline Gordon’s How to Read a Novel is a little outdated, but still intriguing in its observations on the novel.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 […]