Review of New Natalie Standiford Novel

For my latest Chapter 16 review, I wrote about Natalie Standiford’s novel, Astrid Sees All. Set in the storied Manhattan art and club scene of the early 1980s, this novel follows an intense friendship between two young women whose desire for experience lead them into adventure and peril. You can read my review here, at Chapter 16.

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New Review of J. Nicole Jones Memoir

I’m happy to share my review of J. Nicole Jones’ debut memoir, Low Country, for Chapter 16. Though on the face of it, Jones’ subject matter—a troubled chain of family dynamics set amid a story-rich background of Southern landscape and legend—may seem highly familiar, but Jones has created a vision all her own. You can read my review here.

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Review of New Nonfiction by Richard Schweid

I’m grateful that I had the chance to review Richard Schweid’s new book, The Caring Class, which gives a thoughtful look at the myriad challenges faced by those who work as home health aides–a crucial job in our culture. Note to teachers: I think this would make an interesting classroom book. You can read my review here. Thanks, Chapter 16!

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Review of Recent Fiction by Allan Gurganus

Last week, the ever-estimable Chapter 16 published my latest review, this time focused on The Uncollected Stories of Allan Gurganus. This was not an uncomplicated review to write, and I’m grateful to Chapter 16 for the chance to share my impressions of Guragnus’s book. You can read my review here.

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Review of Lydia Hamessley’s Unlikely Angel

I’m pleased to share a review of mine that was published recently, both at Chapter 16 and Nashville Scene. Unlikely Angel, written by musicologist Lydia Hamessley, offers a crucial contribution to the slew of recent books and other media coverage of Dolly Parton. Unlikely Angel places Parton’s songwriting chops back at the center. I know that other creative workers will be as inspired by this work as I was, and I hope they have the chance to find Hamessley’s book!

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Music Essay up at Peauxdunque Review

Women composers have been absurdly undervalued. So I am especially pleased to share this piece I wrote earlier in the year, as part of a series I write for Peauxdunque Review on overlooked albums. This blended essay focuses on “Music for Egon Schiele”—written by Kentucky native Rachel Grimes, then part of indie chamber group Rachel’s—but swirls together some reflections on what a single work of art contains, what it can accrue over time. (Ignore the format oddity—this appeared in our print issue originally.) You can read my essay here at Peauxdunque Review.

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Chapter 16 at The New Yorker

I couldn’t be prouder to write for Chapter 16, which offers daily book coverage of the literary landscape of Tennessee. Its model is a genuine innovation. Now, The New Yorker has picked up on how special a publication it really is! Grateful to be appear here alongside remarkable colleagues, including the glorious powerhouse editors Maria Browning and Margaret Renkl, and the Humanities Tennessee marvels Serenity Gerbman and Tim Henderson. Thank you to reporter Casey Cep! You can read Cep’s piece online at The New Yorker.

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Review of Poetry Anthology for the Pandemic

I was under quarantine myself while reviewing this powerful collection of 100+ poets’ voices turned toward our global pandemic, Together in a Sudden Strangeness. This book is both salve and challenge, and I’m grateful to Chapter 16 for the chance to write some thoughts about it. You can read the piece here.

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Review of Novel by Charles Dodd White

Take note of Charles Dodd White’s new novel How Fire Runs, especially if you want to understand how modern white supremacists make insidious inroads in our communities, especially if you crave both page-burning action and depth of character in your literary fiction. Grateful to review it (and to Chapter 16) during this particular moment in time. You can read my review here.

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Review of New Nonfiction Portrait of Dolly Parton

I’m so happy to share my review of journalist Sarah Smarsh’s She Come By It Natural, a timely and thoughtful dive into the life/lyrics/career/empire/mythos of Dolly Parton. Thanks to Chapter 16 and Southern Festival of Books (virtual this year), where you can catch Smarsh on Sat., Oct. 10, at 3 PM. You can read my review here.

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