“Wanting Radiance,” by Karen Salyer McElmurray

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The pages of Wanting Radiance, a luscious literary novel by Karen Salyer McElmurray, are haunted by characters yearning for love—or something else they can’t quite name. As Ruby Loving says, she is “hungry and what she wanted was a miracle to fill her up.” Her daughter Miracelle thinks the emptiness might […]

“The Good Luck Stone,” by Heather Bell Adams

To an outsider, ninety-year-old Audrey Thorpe’s life appears to resemble a fairytale nearing its end, the only conflict caused by her granddaughter Deanna, who thinks Audrey should no longer live alone. But the protagonist in Heather Bell Adams’s novel, The Good Luck Stone, (Haywire Books 2020) is burdened by a dark secret and crippling guilt […]

“Saving Tyler Hake,” by Meredith Sue Willis

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Although the title might lead a potential reader to think this novella is mostly about one young man, it is not. Saving Tyler Hake, by Meredith Sue Willis, paints a vivid portrait of small town life: the complicated relationships of people who have known each other since childhood and newcomers trying […]

“Even As We Breathe,” by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Infused with Cherokee myth and the history of North Carolina’s famous Grove Park Inn, Even As We Breathe is a stunningly beautiful coming-of-age novel. With its publication, Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle joins Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, N. Scott Momaday, and Leslie Marmon Silko as a new and important voice in Native American […]

“The Other Morgans,” by Carter Taylor Seaton

Reviewed by Donna Meredith When readers first encounter AJ Porter in Carter Taylor Seaton’s novel The Other Morgans, they would be forgiven for judging AJ with a critical eye. The college dropout lives in a rural region of southern West Virginia, can’t pay her taxes, and uses grammar certain to make every teacher flinch. At […]

Southern Literary Review interviews North Carolina author Annette Clapsaddle

“A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen,” by Kari Gunter-Seymour

Reviewed by Donna Meredith One minute it soars. The next it dives. It drives tacks into your heart and then warms your feet like a cozy pair of socks. The language and imagery in Kari Gunter-Seymour’s poetry collection, A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen, is all that we expect from a […]

SLR Associate Editor Donna Meredith Wins Award

Southern Literary Review’s Associate Editor, Donna Meredith, won the gold medal for adult fiction in the Florida Authors and Publishers annual contest. Judges are librarians and publishers. This year’s winner, Buried Seeds, is a novel about two women in different centuries who join activist movements to gain better lives for themselves, their families, and society. The novel […]