Recommended Reading

Nightwoods by Charles Frazier

by Lauren Starnes

Reviewed by Lauren Starnes, WLU ’12 Charles Frazier’s haunting new novel, Nightwoods paints a poignant portrait of love and survival in the unforgiving North Carolina Mountains.  Rather than the nineteenth-century setting of his previous novels, Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons, Frazier sets this tale in … Continue reading

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Touch by Henri Cole

by Barbara Benoit

Touch by  Henri Cole (FSG, NY, 2011)   In the absence of end rhymes, the voice in each of Henri Cole’s otherwise sonnet-like poems rises like ether from moist, cold ground. The separate parts mingle and merge, doing what the … Continue reading

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Looking for the Gulf Motel by Richard Blanco

by Lesley Wheeler

 Looking for the Gulf Motel by Richard Blanco (Pittsburgh, 2012) Scene: pile of recent poetry volumes, all surely deserving fond attention. Bleary reviewer browses one for a while, sighs, puts it down, and repeats this behavior with several more. After … Continue reading

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Waking by Ron Rash

by Philip Belcher

  Waking by Ron Rash (Hub City Press, 2011) Reviewed by Philip Belcher             Since I first read “Under Jocassee” in Ron Rash’s 2002 collection Raising the Dead and followed the speaker’s urging to look beneath my boat and into … Continue reading

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Dining with Robert Redford and Other Stories

by R.T. Smith

 Dining withRobert Redford & Other Stories. By Tamra Wilson (Bristol, Virginia: Little Creek Books, 2011) Reviewed by Heather Duerre Humann If you take a dash of wit, a pinch of humor, and combine them with an eclectic assortment of lively … Continue reading

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The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets: A Self-Help Memoir

by R.T. Smith

The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets: A Self-Help Memoir by Jeffrey Skinner (Sarabande) When I first glanced at this book, I was ready to dismiss it: I don’t care for contemporary memoirs of many sorts,  litbiz  as a subject … Continue reading

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A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes

by R.T. Smith

  A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes (New York Rev. Books, 1999). The current revival of A High Wind in Jamaica encourages me to believe that we haven’t devolved to a state in which all novels about young … Continue reading

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The Accident by Mihail Sebastian

by Anca L. Szilágyi

Anca L. Szilágyi  The Accident, by Mihail Sebastian, trans. Stephen Henighan (Biblioasis, 2011)  What gets imprinted upon a work of fiction when society is unraveling all around the writer? This is a question I grappled with while reading Mihail Sebastian’s … Continue reading

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Outlaws to the left of me, outlaws to the right of me . . . .

by R.T. Smith

The Outlaw Album by Daniel Woodrell (Little, Brown) The first two Daniel Woodrell novels I read were engaging but discomfiting portraits of redneck miscreants which never fully satisfied because Woodrell is inclined to let his Ozark characters at important moments … Continue reading

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Two Guns for Vengeance?

by R.T. Smith

Two Guns for Vengeance (Jove, 2011) by J. R. Roberts While preparing my reading list for a course on the Western novel, I began to consider what to say about the kinds of books we won’t examine in the class. … Continue reading

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