July Read of the Month: “Breath Like the Wind at Dawn,” by Devin Jacobsen

Reviewed by Charley Hively Devin Jacobsen’s debut novel, Breath Like the Wind at Dawn (Sagging Meniscus Press, 2020), opens with a garbled mixture of jarring Western lingo and syntax, graphic violence, and sexual innuendo, but one important detail slowly emerges: gold. Quinn and Irv, a pair of outlaw twin brothers, ambush and slaughter a group […]

“Southbound: Essays on Identity, Heritage, and Social Change,” by Anjali Enjeti

Reviewed by Dawn Major  Early into Southbound Enjeti says, “The problem with masks is that it’s very hard to see out of them.” The human mind attempts to find connections and these particular words connected the entire collection thematically. Enjeti was referring to the mask of silence here, specifically hiding behind a mask as a […]

“Reconsidering Flannery O’Connor,” Edited by Alison Arant and Jordan Cofer

Reviewed by Honey Rand I never much thought about the curation of materials for an anthology until Reconsidering Flannery O’Connor. As I read through each essay, I thought about the excellence of the work and the genius of the collection. Did the editors call on specific scholars to produce this work? Did they collect the […]

“Fugitives of the Heart,” by William Gay

Reviewed by Dawn Major Fugitives of the Heart was found in the attic of a hand-built house where William Gay raised his kids. I had the opportunity to assist editing this lost work and am so pleased fans of Gay will finally have the chance to read his last novel, Fugitives of the Heart, which […]

June Read of the Month: “Coyote Loop,” by L. C. Fiore

Reviewed by Donna Meredith If you like larger-than-life, irascible, narcissistic, rich, foul-mouthed muckspouts—think Tony Soprano—you will like the narrator of L. C. Fiore’s Coyote Loop. Granted, the setting is totally different. The trading floor of a Chicago Board Options Exchange. The beginning of the 2008 recession. But John Andrew Ganzi, also known as JAG, rules […]

“Country Dark” by Chris Offutt and “Dry County” by Jake Hinkson

Reviewed by Thomas O’Grady Recently, I read Daniel Woodrell’s novel Winter’s Bone (2006), the basis for the feature film of the same name that I declined to see when it was released in 2010: I knew its premise from reviews, and my soul didn’t want to descend into the abyss of the crystal meth-ravaged subculture […]

“Incognito,” by Terry Lewis

Reviewed by Claire Matturro Incognito (Moonshine Cove Publishing 2021) by Terry Lewis is a riveting, high-stakes adventure story with accurate, well-drawn history about the birth of the United States. Set in the early days of the American Revolution, the tale captures the tensions and conflicts of the time in compelling action and narrative. Lewis, a […]

“A Common Person and Other Stories,” by R. M. Kinder

Reviewed by C. D. Albin At first glance, characters in R. M. Kinder’s A Common Person and Other Stories appear ordinary enough.  Their occupations are quotidian—students, professors, retirees, an occasional factory worker or attorney—and outwardly their lives circumscribe regular routes and routines. Inwardly, however, Kinder’s characters are quietly rebellious, pushing back against louder, more forceful […]