Announcing the 2023 Southern Literary Review Books of the Year

The editors of Southern Literary Review select one book each year to receive special recognition. It recognizes books published between October of two years previous to October of the current year. 

The Book of the Year should

  • Be written by a Southern author or have a Southern setting.
  • Have lasting value as part of the Southern literary canon.
  • Exhibit artistic worth, literary quality, and originality.
  • Employ flawless language that suits the subject matter.
  • Engage the reader on each page.
  • Be a book deserving of wider recognition.

The 2023 Book of the Year is a tie between two fine novels.

Atomic Family by Ciera Horton and

Moonrise Over New Jessup by Jamila Minnicks

These novels were both so good—and so different from each other—we couldn’t decide between them. Congratulations to Ciera and Jamila for creating these fine works of literature. Atomic Family captures the dread of the Cold War and the effect it had on families, communities, and the environment. Moonrise Over New Jessup expertly captures the civil rights era in the United States with the unique perspective of Blacks who have no desire for integration and choose to live in an all-Black town.

You can read the review of Atomic Family here.

And read an interview with Atomic Family author Ciera Horton here.

You can read the review of Moonrise Over New Jessup here.

Poetry Book of the Year

Homelight by Lola Haskins

Congratulations, Lola, for creating such an elegant collection.

You can read the review of Homelight here.

And read an interview with Homelight’s author Lola Haskins here.

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