This piece was a fun one—I had the chance to ask Bret Anthony Johnston some questions about his writing process, skateboarding, and his terrific 2014 novel, Remember Me Like This. The Q&A is up today at Chapter 16.
I’m excited to share this review I wrote for Chapter 16 about Family of Earth, the newly recovered memoir by Wilma Dykeman, whose fiction and environmentalist essays has had a strong influence on many Appalachian writers. I love this kind of discovery (especially when the result is this good). The reading life is a permanently renewable resource. You can read my review at Chapter 16.
I had the chance to review Ron Rash’s most recent novel, The Risen, for Chapter 16. This slim novel would not let me stop reading until I had gulped it down in one sitting. My review is available here at Chapter 16.
I’m so pleased to share my new review of Brad Watson’s fascinating novel, Miss Jane. I loved this book—which boasts a pretty high degree of difficulty—so it’s exciting to know that it was recently longlisted for the National Book Award. (Watson will soon be at the Southern Festival of Books.) You can read my review here at Chapter 16.
Glad to share that my newest review is up today at Chapter 16–this time Jay McInerney’s latest novel, Bright, Precious Days. This book contains an interesting set of questions about nostalgia and change, set against the context of a husband and wife, Russell and Corrine, who are weathering mutual midlife crises while the nation around them is erupting in its own troubles. You can read my review at Chapter 16.
I recently had the chance to review a debut collection of linked stories from Laura Hendrix Ezell. This book will probably be most enjoyed by those who love a dose of the fantastical in their literary fiction. There are many story collections out there with an Appalachian focus, but not too many of those roam into magical realist territory. My review is up this week at Chapter 16, and you can read it here.
I’m excited to share my Chapter 16 review of Louise Erdrich’s new novel LaRose. I hope this book gets into the hands of as many different kinds of readers as possible. Even by Erdrich standards, it’s an exceptional exploration of the spirit and the body, healing and atonement, and a lot more. It’s pure joy to write about a book this good. You can read my review here at Chapter 16.