“The Digital Self: Poems and Illustrations” by Wesley Bishop

“It felt like a time apt for apocalyptic writing,” says Bishop in his note at the end of The Digital Self (Lulu 2023). “Yet,” he says, “we continued to create countless traces of ourselves with each day spent in the digital sphere. The things we liked, or shared, or rage posted about, or emailed, or […]

“These Particular Women” by Kat Meads

Reviewed by Edwina Pendarvis   These Particular Women (Sagging Meniscus 2023) offers a composite of particulars about eleven women who earned celebrity, large or small, in the 20th century, either through their own accomplishments—in one case a murder—or as wife or mother of a notably accomplished someone. Most of the women will be familiar and […]

“Another World: Ballet Lessons from Appalachia” by Edwina Pendarvis

Ballet is probably not the first kind of dancing people associate with Appalachia, Edwina Pendarvis acknowledges in the introduction to Another World: Ballet Lessons from Appalachia. Yet for the twenty-four women Pendarvis interviews for this engaging book, ballet assumed considerable importance in their lives. The fond memories and photographs of ballet lessons gathered for this […]

Oedipus, Jemima Puddle-Duck, and “Astonishing Primitives”

“How to Read a Novel” by Caroline Gordon Cluny Media Edition, 2019; Originally published, 1953 “The Malefactors” by Caroline Gordon Cluny Media Edition, 2019; Originally published, 1956   Review Essay by Edwina Pendarvis Caroline Gordon’s How to Read a Novel is a little outdated, but still intriguing in its observations on the novel. Because her […]

“Our Love Affair With Murder”: Donna Meredith Reviews Five Mysteries

Reviews by Donna Meredith Sex sells, but crime pays too—at least for writers. Mystery and crime stories earn upwards of $730 million a year in book sales. That’s a lot of love for dead bodies, sales figures topped only slightly by the live bodies found in the romance genre. From the earliest mysteries penned by […]

A conversation: “Walk Till The Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden in Appalachia”

Silence can be “an unfortunate and even dangerous act of submission,” editors Adrian Blevins and Karen Salyer McElmurray write in the preface to this collection of thirty-two essays, Walk Till The Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden in Appalachia (Ohio University Press, 2015). They speak of the enormous expectation from their “workplaces, families, and […]