Claire Hamner Matturro reviews “No Names to Be Given” and interviews the author Julia Brewer Daily

THE BOOK Julia Brewer Daily’s, novel, No Names to Be Given (Admission Press, 2021) is an evocative and sensitive novel about three young women from vastly different backgrounds who face unwed pregnancies in the 1960’s Deep South. Sandy, Faith, and Becca become roommates in a New Orleans maternity home hospital for unwed mothers and gradually […]

“Hannah and Ariela” by Johnnie Bernhard

Providing a blueprint for a rich, fulfilling life after the loss of a loved one was not likely Johnnie Bernhard’s main intent in writing her latest novel, Hannah and Ariela, (TCU Press, 2022). Yet this compassionate novel set near the Texas border does exactly that. Seventy-three-year-old Hannah Duran stars in this story, although the chapters […]

“Dead Letters from Paradise” by Ann McMan

Dead Letters from Paradise (Bywater Books, 2022) by Ann McMann blends literary mystery, historical fiction, and romance with entirely delightful results. There are no dead bodies in this mystery, and there’s no overt sex in the romance. Yet here are two reasons—among many—to love this novel. First, the crisp, yet lyrical prose style, coupled with […]

“Just That” by Robert Cooper

Robert Cooper and I met at a vast Midwestern university as graduate students in a doctoral program. I am a Southerner by birth and am now a professor in Virginia. Cooper is a Southerner by choice after having accepting a professorship at McNeese University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he has lived, taught for decades, […]

August Read of the Month: “The Murder Gene” by Karen Spears Zacharias

The Murder Gene (Koehler Books, 2022) is written with the precision of an ace journalist and with the page-turning intrigue of an award-winning novelist. No surprise since the author, Karen Spears Zacharias, is both. This combination of talents results in compelling nonfiction which deserves a wide and appreciative audience. Not only impeccably written, the book […]

“Stories from the Attic” by William Gay

William Gay was a literary autodidact who was born, lived most of his life, and died in Lewis County, Tennessee. Through extensive reading and almost continuous writing, he perfected his craft to become one of the essential Southern writers of the twenty-first century. His stories are every bit as visceral as early Cormac McCarthy with […]