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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Q&A with Maurice Carlos Ruffin

I’m thrilled to share my Q&A with the wonderful Maurice Carlos Ruffin. I can’t express how exciting it is to see my friend’s debut novel, We Cast A Shadow, doing so well. We are both longtime members of the great swirly ball of wonder otherwise known as The Peauxdunque Writers Alliance, and it’s a privilege now to ask him questions in print. ALSO: I’ll be asking him more questions at Parnassus Books this Saturday, March 2nd, at 2 PM. So, come! Our Q&A is up today over at Chapter 16.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Review of Cary Holladay Story Collection

I’m so excited to share my review of Cary Holladay’s new short story collection (plus one novella), Brides in the Sky. Holladay’s fiction usually dives deeply into Virginia landscapes or roams across a settler’s vision of the long-ago West. And she is a powerhouse talent. My review’s up today at Chapter 16.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment