March Read of the Month: “A Glooming Peace This Morning” by Allen Mendenhall

Allen Mendenhall’s debut novel, A Glooming Peace This Morning (Livingston Press 2023), is an achingly lovely, stirring novel about confused youth, a tragically mismatched relationship, legal ethics, and small-town Deep South in the 1970s. The story is told in the voice of a mature man looking back forty years to events in his youth, and […]

“Everybody Here is Kin” by BettyJoyce Nash

Everybody Here is Kin (Madville Publishing 2023) by BettyJoyce Nash is a moving, well-written literary story about family—the ones we are born into and the ones we create. It is also a finely tuned tale of a tight-knit community living on a small barrier island off the coast of Georgia—a place where the year-round islanders […]

“The Bullet Swallower” by Elizabeth Gonzalez James

The Bullet Swallower (Simon & Schuster 2024) by Elizabeth Gonzalez James is a wild yarn of a story with elements of a classic western adventure invigorated with mystical realism and more than a gloss of karmic turbulence. In short, it’s fascinating. Literary historical fiction at its finest, this is an ambitious novel which more than […]

 “The Halo of Bees: New & Selected Poems 1990-2023” by Michael Hettich

Award-winning poet Michael Hettich, a former Florida resident and professor who now lives in North Carolina, has an avid appreciation for nature, domestic life, language, trust in the simple things, and in the often-elusive connections between entities. With intelligence, insight, and occasional wit, Hettich writes superbly on these subjects, and others, in his new 233-page […]

“Chenneville” by Paulette Jiles

Paulette Jiles’ newest one, Chenneville: A Novel of Murder, Loss, and Vengeance (William Morrow 2023) is a fine adaptation of a classic hero’s-journey archetype. It is both an action-oriented adventure story and a splendidly well-written literary novel about a most painful period in our history. As Jiles has successfully done in prior novels, she creates a […]

The Official Southern Literary Review 2023 Holiday Gift Guide

No gift is better than a good book, right? Each year Southern Literary Review’s editors let you in on some of their favorite books of the year. Donna’s Picks For readers who enjoy historical fiction:  Yellow Wife by Sadeka Johnson (Enslaved woman living with prison master) Only Oona by Tamatha Cain (Charlie Chaplin’s wife) Sister […]