Feature on Knoxville Reading Series, WordStream

Recently, I had the chance to write a feature about an interesting reading series based in Knoxville, WordStream: The Weekly Writer’s Voice—a live weekly series which has also just launched a podcast, all in connection with Knoxville’s WDVX FM. WordStream aims to feature literary writers alongside songwriters and theatre artists. My feature is up today at Chapter 16.

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Review of Nonfiction Book about Lost Colony of Roanoke

I admit, while reviewing Andrew Lawler’s The Secret Token, I fell down the rabbit hole of curiosity about the fate of the lost colony of Roanoke, England’s first settlement in North America (during the late sixteenth century). That story’s mesmerizing ability to draw people into its vortex forms a big part of Lawler’s entertaining chronicle, which reveals exactly how relevant Roanoke remains to where we stand today. My review’s up today at Chapter 16.

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Review of Jessica Wilkerson’s Appalachian Labor History

I was moved and galvanized by reading Jessica Wilkerson’s To Live Here, You Have to Fight, which traces the contributions of women activists in the Appalachian labor and social-justice battles of the twentieth century. A book like this one provides a terrific corrective for cliché depictions of the region. You can read my review at the also-galvanizing Chapter 16.

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Review of Nora McInerny’s New Memoir

I’m especially glad to share my review of Nora McInerny’s great new memoir, No Happy Endings.McInerny, who hosts the also-great “Terrible, Thanks for Asking,” is as funny as anyone could be about the collisions of joy and tragedy in our lives, how one doesn’t rub out the other. Big subject for me lately. You can read my review at Chapter 16 or in the Nashville Scene.

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Review of Sophia Shalmiyev’s Memoir

I’m thrilled to share my latest review for Chapter 16—this time, I got to delve into Sophia Shalmiyev’s captivating memoir, Mother Winter. I can think of so many readers I know who will love this book, especially those who enjoyed Maggie Nelson’s book, The Argonauts, or Carrie’s Brownstein’s memoir, Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl. My review of Mother Winter is up today at the marvelous Chapter 16.

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Review of Nonfiction Book about the Collision of Early Rock and Southern Lit

I’m late to posting this, but I’m still happy to share my recent review of Florence Dore’s Novel Sounds: The American Novel in the Age of Rock and Roll. This work of literary criticism tackles a range of 1950s Southern writers’ novels in light of the corresponding explosion of early rock and roll into the ethos of the wider culture during that era. You can read my review of Dore’s insightful book over at Chapter 16. 

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Review of Stirring New Appalachian Anthology

It was a real joy and challenge to review Appalachian Reckoning, a new anthology edited by Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll. This book brings together a collection of responses to the huge and problematic phenomenon of J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. I like this book best when it pulls no punches, and as a writer, I was galvanized by it. You can read my review at Chapter 16.

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