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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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