“The Woods of Fannin County” by Janisse Ray

Astounding as it may seem for admirers of Southern author, poet, activist Janisse Ray, The Woods of Fannin County (Janisse Ray, 2022) is her first time publishing fiction. Maybe more surprising is her anxiety over venturing into fiction. The Woods of Fannin County is an unfathomable story, and perhaps, fiction made it easier to tell […]

November Read of the Month: “Milk Blood Heat” by Dantiel W. Muniz

In Milk Blood Heat (Grove Press, 2021) Dantiel W. Muniz serves up a savory, delicious stew of short stories in an outstanding debut collection. The stories are set in the steamy cities and suburbs of Florida centered on Black residents and their communities. Female voices and themes predominate. This collection is a rare gem in […]

October Read of the Month: “Haints on Black Mountain: A Haunted Short Story Collection” by Ann Hite

There are novelists who never master the short story form or who wouldn’t consider writing memoir. There are also writers of short fiction who balk at the idea of committing to a novel. And though 2012 Georgia Author of the Year and Townsend Prize finalist Ann Hite stays true to her Appalachian settings and Southern […]

September Read of the Month: “Loving the Dead and Gone,” by Judith Turner-Yamamoto

Judith Turner-Yamamoto’s debut novel Loving the Dead and Gone (Regal House, September 2022) is a 2020 Petrichor Prize finalist. There’s more than one aching heart in this excellent story exploring the generational effects of love, loss, betrayal, and redemption. The story opens with middle-aged Clayton finding a young man’s body after someone smashed into the […]

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 […]

“James Dickey: A Literary Life” by Gordon Van Ness 

For James Dickey, who believed in the “transcendence of the imagination,” as evidenced in a letter to Gore Vidal in 1988—“I make no distinction between fact, fiction, history, reminiscence and fantasy, for the imagination inhabits them all,” —Gordon Van Ness takes on a complex, passionate, revelatory—and often thorny—task in James Dickey: A Literary Life (Mercer […]