Southern Cross the Dog (Ecco) by Bill Cheng

by Madeline Thorpe

Southern Cross the Dog recounts the odyssey of young Robert Chatham, as first-time novelist Bill Cheng portrays the themes of racial tension, adolescent love, emotional hardships, and the destruction incurred by nature.  As he travels throughout the South, Robert faces … Continue reading

Guests on Earth (Algonquin, 2013) by Lee Smith

by Sarah Kennedy

Lee Smith’s has long written perceptively about Southern women (Family Linen, Oral History, Saving Grace), and her new novel, Guests on Earth, is no exception.  Grounded in the 1948 burning of the Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, the novel … Continue reading

The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men (Black Lawrence Press, 2012) by Adam Prince

by Anika Gupta

Black Lawrence Press, 2012 Beneath a serious photo of himself in blazer and glasses, author Adam Prince’s webpage contains the following quote from his debut collection of short stories: “Because lust was a region into which the critical mind could … Continue reading

A Different Sun: A Novel of Africa (Berkley, 2013) by Elaine Neil Orr

by Katherine Turner

A Different Sun gives imaginative life to characters who actually existed – the daughter of a Georgia plantation owner and the charismatic missionary whom she married, travelling with him to West Africa in the mid nineteenth-century.  Lurana Davis Bowen and … Continue reading

Bobcat and Other Stories (Algonquin, 2013) by Rebecca Lee

by Sarah Kennedy

Rebecca Lee’s new short story collection, Bobcat and Other Stories (Algonquin 2013), centers on the lives of young adults, most of whom are in college or newly embarking on marriage and careers.  In prose that I often found deft and … Continue reading

The Complete Poems of James Dickey (Univ. of S. C. Press, 2013) edited by Ward Briggs

by William Wright

A few weeks ago, after  I sent a query to a widely known magazine (which will remain unnamed) about their possible interest in a review of The Complete Poems of James Dickey, the response was understandable, if peculiar (and this … Continue reading

Anatomy of Melancholy and Other Poems (Penguin, 2013) by Robert Wrigley

by William Wright

American poetry is an amorphous entity, ever-shifting, uncontainably vast. Frankly, as in any era, in any place, there is good poetry, and there is bad. I will not run the risk of berating contemporary writers whose popularity (I feel) derives … Continue reading