Book Reviews
Author Q&As
Personal Essays
Features and Music Writing


Field School.” storySouth. (Fall 2021)

The Mouth on Her.” Rappahannock Review. (Spring 2021 / Issue 8.2)

The Falling Down Side.” Peatsmoke. (Fall 2020)

Teetotalers.” Mississippi Review(Winter 2020 / Issue 47.3)

Eufaula.” Shenandoah. (Spring 2017)

“Thunder Sometimes, Never Bells.” The Florida Review. (January 2016)

“Sky Fire Shrine Machine.” The Double Dealer. (October 2015)

Stump Winter, Indian Summer.” Tupelo Quarterly. (March 2015)

Book Reviews

Where We Labor.” Review of What Things Cost: an anthology for the people, edited by Rebecca Gayle Howell and Ashley M. Jones. Chapter 16. (March 2023)

Meet Me Deep in This Mystery.” Round-up review of Intimacies of Borrowed Light by Darius Stewart, Secret City by Katherine Smith, and Him or Her or Whatever by Tyler Friend. Chapter 16. (March 2023)

From the Other Side of the Woods.” Review of Moonrise Over New Jessup by Jamila Minnicks. Chapter 16. (Jan. 2023) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

How You’ll Remember You Were Made from Her.” Review of Hillbilly Madonna by Sara Moore Wagner. Chapter 16. (Nov. 2022)

Where the Badness Lives.” Review of Our Sister Who Will Not Die by Rebecca Bernard. Chapter 16. (Nov. 2022)

Portrait of the Artists.” Review of Also a Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me by Ada Calhoun. Chapter 16. (Oct. 2022)

When Home is a Place You’ve Fled.” Review of Diary of a Misfit: a Memoir and a Mystery by Casey Parks. Chapter 16. (Sept. 2022) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

A Fight Over the Mountain Commons.” Review of Ginseng Diggers: A History of Root and Herb Gathering in Appalachia by Luke Manget. Chapter 16. (June 2022)

The Hard Beauty.” Review of A Year Without Months by Charles Dodd White. Chapter 16. (May 2022) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Made to Survive.” Review of Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong. Chapter 16. (April 2022) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Defenseless Against the Memory.” Review of Shift Work by Bobby C. Rogers. Chapter16. (Feb. 2022)

Called to the Water.” Review of Trouble the Waters: Tales from the Deep Blue, edited by Sheree Renée Thomas, Troy L. Wiggins, and Pan Morigan. Chapter 16. (Jan. 2022) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

How Much Do We Owe the Dead?” Review of The Sentence by Louise Erdrich. Chapter 16. (Nov. 2021) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Compact, but Planetary.” Review of Bewilderment by Richard Powers. Chapter 16. (Sept. 2021)

Tales of a Preservationist.” Review of Silas House: Exploring an Appalachian Writer’s Work by Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt. Chapter 16. (June 2021)

The Curvature of the World.” Review of Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead. Chapter 16. (May 2021) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

The Cost of Healing.” Review of The Parted Earth by Anjali Enjeti. Chapter 16. (May 2021) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

She Found Ways to be Fascinating.” Review of Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford. Chapter 16. (April 2021)

Resisting a Truce with the Unknown.” Review of Low Country by J. Nicole Jones. Chapter 16. (April 2021)

Reality Orientation.” Review of The Caring Class by Richard Schweid. Chapter 16. (Mar. 2021)

Nobody Untended.” Review of The Uncollected Stories of Allan Gurganus. Chapter 16. (Feb. 2021)

Write Like I’m Hungry.” Review of Unlikely Angel by Lydia Hamessley. Chapter 16. (Jan. 2021) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Dark Night Will Not Rob You of Your Way.” Review of Together in a Sudden Strangeness, edited by Alice Quinn. Chapter 16. (Nov. 2020)

Pain and Radiance.” Review of How Fire Runs by Charles Dodd White. Chapter 16. (Nov. 2020)

Love Letter to the Dollyverse.” Review of She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs by Sarah Smarsh. Chapter 16. (Oct. 2020)

Rejoice in the Complexity.” Review of Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald. Chapter 16. (August 2020) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Fresh Soil in Old Territory.” Review of In The Valley by Ron Rash. Chapter 16. (August 2020)

I Would Have Said It Was Mystical.” Review of Wanting Radiance by Karen Salyer McElmurray. Chapter 16. (June 2020)

Small Mercies.” Review of A Small Thing to Want by Shuly Xóchitl Cawood. Chapter 16. (May 2020)

Child of the Green Routine.” Review of Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco by Alia Volz. Chapter 16. (April 2020)

The Paradise, The Grave, The City, The Wilderness.” Review of The Everlasting by Katy Simpson Smith. Chapter 16. (March 2020)

The Fringe of Dream.” Review of Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith. Chapter 16. (March 2020) (Also appeared in Knoxville News Sentinel and in The Norris Bulletin)

Moments in the Hunger.” Review of The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich. Chapter 16. (March 2020) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

This Cult of Niceness.” Review of Postcards from the Gerund State by Lorraine M. López. Chapter 16. (Jan. 2020)

Hardship as Possibility.” Review of Step into the Circle: Writers in Modern Appalachia, edited by Amy Greene and Trent Thomson. Chapter 16. (Dec. 2019) (Also appeared in Knoxville News Sentinel)

Memory is the Chariot.” Review of The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Chapter 16. (Oct. 2019) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

All the Mistakes Families Make.” Review of Holding On To Nothing by Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne. Chapter 16. (Oct. 2019) (Also appeared in Knoxville News Sentinel)

Are We Supposed to be Here?” Review of The Affairs of the Falcóns by Melissa Rivero. Chapter 16. (Sept. 2019) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Pursuers of the Myth.” Review of The Secret Token by Andrew Lawler. Chapter 16. (June 2019) (Also appeared in Knoxville News Sentinel)

Waging War Through an Ethic of Care.” Review of To Live Here, You Have to Fight by Jessica Wilkerson. Chapter 16. (May 2019) (Also appeared in Knoxville News Sentinel)

Life After Life.” Review of No Happy Endings by Nora McInerny. Chapter 16. (May 2019) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Mother is a Circle.” Review of Mother Winter by Sophia ShalmiyevChapter 16. (April 2019) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Books and Rock, Love and Theft.” Review of Novel Sounds: The American Novel in the Age of Rock and Roll by Florence Dore. Chapter 16. (April 2019)

Leaving Elegy Behind.” Review of Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy edited by Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll. Chapter 16. (March 2019) (Also appeared in Knoxville News Sentinel)

Startled into Sudden Change.” Review of Brides in the Sky by Cary Holladay. Chapter 16. (January 2019)

Opening the Black Box.” Review of Inheritance by Dani Shapiro. Chapter 16. (January 2019) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Convictions.” Review of High Magick by Damien Echols. Chapter 16. (October 2018) (Also appeared in Memphis Commercial Appeal)

This New Kind of Survival.” Review of In The House of Wilderness by Charles Dodd White. Chapter 16. (October 2018) (Also appeared in Knoxville News Sentinel)

The Ground is Swollen with Your Name.” Review of I Can’t Talk About The Trees Without The Blood by Tiana Clark. Chapter 16. (September 2018) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

In Between One Thing and Another.” Review of How To Write An Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee. Chapter 16. (August 2018) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Island of Secrets.” Review of The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams. Chapter 16 (June 2018)

Don’t Let This Turn You Mean.” Review of Southernmost by Silas House. Chapter 16 (May 2018)

History Twisting Up Bright and Green.” Review of Specter Mountain by Jesse Graves and William Wright. Chapter 16. (April 2018)

Permission Slip.” Review of The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer. Chapter 16. (April 2018)

Forever Needing Something Stronger.” Review of The Fighter by Michael Farris Smith. Chapter 16. (April 2018) (Also appeared in Knoxville News Sentinel)

What Truths We Can Stomach.” Review of The Cadaver King and The Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South by Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington. Chapter 16. (March 2018)

Hot Time in the City.” Review of Neon in Daylight by Hermione Hoby. Chapter 16. (Jan. 2018)

Death-Defying Feats.” Review of The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. Chapter 16. (Jan. 2018)

Real Bones, Real Person, Not a Myth, Not a Story.” Review of Sycamore by Bryn Chancellor. Chapter 16. (Nov. 2017) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Haven in a Dark Time.” Review of Unbroken Circle: Stories of Cultural Diversity in the South, edited by Julia Watts and Larry Smith. Chapter 16. (Nov. 2017) (Also appeared in Knoxville News Sentinel)

Portal of the Years.” Review of Village Prodigies by Rodney Jones. Chapter 16. (Oct. 2017)

Two Nations in Thy Womb.” Review of The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson. Chapter 16. (Sept. 2017)

Burn Me Anew.” Review of How to Survive a Summer by Nick White. Chapter 16. (Sept. 2017)

Quirks of Survival.” Review of All the Bayou Stories End with Drowned by Erica Wright. Chapter 16. (August 2017) (Also appeared in Knoxville News Sentinel)

Keep Calm and Parent On.” Review of Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy. Chapter 16. (June 2017)

The Purposes of a Ghost.” Review of Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin. Chapter 16. (June 2017) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Undertow.” Review of Eveningland by Michael Knight. Chapter 16. (March 2017) (Also appeared in Knoxville News Sentinel)

A Tale of Two Mothers.” Review of One Good Mama Bone by Bren McClain. Chapter 16. (Feb. 2017) (Also appeared in Memphis Commercial Appeal)

An Appetite for Imaginative Living.” Review of Family of Earth by Wilma Dykeman. Chapter 16. (Nov. 2016)

The Past Is Waiting.” Review of The Risen by Ron Rash. Chapter 16. (Sept. 2016)

Her Own Strangeness.” Review of Miss Jane by Brad Watson. Chapter 16. (Sept. 2016) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene) 

Art and Love, Power and Money.” Review of Bright, Precious Days by Jay McInerney. Chapter 16. (Aug. 2016) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Where the Stories Live.” Review of A Record of Our Debts by Laura Hendrix Ezell. Chapter 16. (Aug. 2016)

Unspeakable Gift.” Review of LaRose by Louise Erdrich. Chapter 16. (May 2016)

Secrets, Lies, and Cocktails.” Review of The After Party by Anton DiSclafani. Chapter 16. (May 2016) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Points of Juncture.” Review of When Are You Coming Home? by Bryn Chancellor. Chapter 16. (April 2016)

When Their Hearts Became Their Landscape.” Review of Poems by Ron Rash. Chapter 16. (April 2016)

The Hunting Season.” Review of Breaking Wild by Diane Les Becquets. Chapter 16. (Feb. 2016)

Forbidden Voices and Outlaw Hearts.” Review of Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia, edited by Adrian Blevins and Karen Salyer McElmurray. Chapter 16. (Jan. 2016)

No Other Human Noise.” Review of The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks. Chapter 16. (Oct. 2015) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Pining for Dead Men.” Review of The Darling by Lorraine Lopez. Chapter 16. (Sept. 2015) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Spirit of Resurrection.” Review of The Wind in the Reeds by Wendell Pierce. Chapter 16. (Sept. 2015) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

A Land of Perpetual Inventions.” Review of Appalachian Now, edited by Larry Smith and Charles Dodd White. Chapter 16. (Aug. 2015)

Backwoods Refrain.” Review of Long Black Curl by Alex Bledsoe. Chapter 16. (July 2015)

Into History.” Review of Fresh Water From Old Wells by Cindy Henry McMahon. Chapter 16. (May 2015) (Also appeared in Knoxville News Sentinel)

No Knack for Volition.” Review of Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum. Chapter 16. (April 2015) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Enough Light to Prove the World Exists.” Review of Crimes Against Birds by Denton Loving. Chapter 16. (April 2015)

Students of Reinvention.” Review of The Half Brother by Holly LeCraw. Chapter 16. (Mar. 2015) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Hear Me Out.” Review of My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh. Chapter 16. (Feb. 2o15) (Also appeared in Memphis Commercial Appeal)

How They Lived On.” Review of The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson. Chapter 16. (Jan. 2015)

Written on the Wind: Scene reporters share some of their favorite books of 2014, from Kendra DeColo to Tony Earley.” Nashville Scene. (Dec. 2014)

A Little Back-Up From the Dead.” Review of A Sudden Light by Garth Stein.  Chapter 16. (Nov. 2014) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

A Surveyor in the Back of Beyond.” Review of Something Rich and Strange: Selected Stories by Ron Rash. Chapter 16. (Oct. 2014) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Vagabonds and Gurus.” Review of Sister Golden Hair by Darcey Steinke. Chapter 16. (Oct. 2014)

The World Remade.” Review of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Chapter 16. (Sept. 2014) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

A Note So Pure.” Review of Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler. Chapter 16. (Aug. 2014) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Freedom From the Ordinary.” Review of Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead. Chapter 16. (Aug. 2014)

Alone Together.” Review of Before, During, After by Richard Bausch. Chapter 16. (Aug. 2014)

Little Things.” Review of Flying Shoes by Lisa Howorth. Chapter 16. (June 2014) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Good Girl, Bad Girl.” Review of Southern Sin: True Stories of the Sultry South and Women Behaving Badly, edited by Lee Gutkind and Beth Ann Fennelly. Chapter 16. (May 2014)

This Is Not An Anthropology Lesson.” Review of Tupelo Honey Cafe: New Southern Flavors from the Blue Ridge Mountains by Elizabeth Sims and Chef Brian Sonoskus. Chapter 16. (May 2014) (Also appeared in Knoxville News Sentinel)

Vista to Somewhere Else.” Review of Visible City by Tova Mirvis. Chapter 16. (March 2014)

Ain’t Hell Meat Yet.” Review of Pickett’s Charge by Charles McNair. Chapter 16. (Jan. 2014) (also appeared in Nashville Scene)

The Risky Business of Fairy Tales.” Review of Housebound by Elizabeth Gentry. Chapter 16. (Nov. 2013) (Also appeared in Knoxville News Sentinel)

Impossible Land.” Review of Rivers by Michael Farris Smith. Chapter 16. (Sept. 2013)

The Nature of the Harm.” Review of The House Girl by Tara Conklin. Chapter 16. (Sept. 2013)

Flooded Hearts.” Review of The Deer in the Mirror by Cary Holladay. Chapter 16. (Aug. 2013) (Also appeared in Memphis Commercial Appeal)

Siren Song.” Review of Wisp of a Thing by Alex Bledsoe. Chapter 16. (July 2013) (Also appeared in Memphis Commercial Appeal)

Sandra Gilbert’s Rereading Women.” Tennessee Libraries. (Oct. 2011)

“Edward P. Jones’s All Aunt Hagar’s Children.” Yemassee. (Spring 2007)

“Maud Casey’s Genealogy.” Yemassee. (Fall 2006)

Author Q&As

Pursuing the Stranger Course.” Interview with Charles Dodd White. Chapter 16. (Jan. 2023)

Interview with Jamey Hatley. Peauxdunque Review. (July 2020)

Interview with Anne Valente. Bayou Magazine. (October 2019)

Eye of the Beholder.” Interview with Ottessa Moshfegh. Chapter 16. (August 2019) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

Of Facts and Fables.” Interview with Maurice Carlos Ruffin. Chapter 16. (February 2019)

Where The Characters Quicken to Life.” Interview with Bret Anthony Johnston. Chapter 16. (Nov. 2016) (Also appeared in Knoxville News Sentinel)

Interview with Kaitlyn Greenidge. Late Night Library. (April 2016)

Interview with Lee Smith. Late Night Library. (March 2016)

Interview with David Armand. Late Night Library. (October 2015)

Interview with Ellen Urbani. Late Night Library. (September 2015)

Interview with Christina Stoddard. Late Night Library. (August 2015)

Observations from the Field.” Interview with Lily King. Chapter 16. (June 2015)

Interview with Megan Kruse. Late Night Library. (April 2015)

Interview with Molly Gloss. Late Night Library. (Feb. 2015)

Interview with Craig Davidson. Late Night Library. (Dec. 2014)

Reckoning with the Mystery.” Interview with Ayana Mathis. Chapter 16. (Oct. 2013) (Also appeared in Nashville Scene)

More Than One Life.” Interview with Lee Smith. Chapter 16. (Feb. 2013) (Also appeared in Nashville City Paper)

Fugitive Truth.” Interview with Roger Hodge. Chapter 16. (Jan. 2013) (Also appeared in Nashville City Paper)

Renovating the Fairy Tale.” Interview with Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams. Chapter 16. (Nov. 2012) (Also appeared in Nashville City Paper)

Personal Essays

Field Day, 1990.” Longridge Review. Notable Finalist for Anne C. Barnhill Prize for Creative Nonfiction. (Fall 2022)

The Mouths of Our Caves.” Atticus Review. (May 2020) (Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and for Best of the Net)

Some Words to the Close and Holy Darkness.” Chapter 16. (Dec. 2019)

Podunk in the City.” Staff Blog for Peauxdunque Review. (March 2018)

The Rereading Project: Cold Mountain.” Jill of All Genres. (Oct. 2014)

Good Medicine.” Chapter 16. (July 2014)

An Invitation to the Festival.” Chapter 16. (Oct. 2012)

Features and Music Writing

Album Highlight: Kate and Anna McGarrigle’s Pronto Monto.” Peauxdunque Review. (Issue Five, 2021)

Among the Pollinators.” Chapter 16. An in-depth survey of how TN writers approach the subject of our environment. (October 2021)

Album Highlight: Stevie Wonder’s A Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants.” Peauxdunque Review. (Issue Four, 2021)

Album Highlight: Thirteen Ways of Listening to a Rachel’s Album.” Peauxdunque Review. (Dec. 2020)

The Fringe of Dream.” A reflection on Patti Smith, in music and literature. Chapter 16. (March 2020) (Also appeared in the Norris Bulletin and, in shortened form, in Knoxville News Sentinel)

Album Highlight: Indigo Girls’ ‘Beauty Queen Sister.'” Peauxdunque Review. (Fall 2019)

In That Sacred Space and Sound.” Feature on Knoxville’s WordStream Reading Series. Chapter 16. (August 2019)

Album Highlight: Over The Rhine’s ‘Meet Me At The End of the World.'” Peauxdunque Review. (Spring 2019)

Voices Nearby and Far-Flung.” Chapter 16. (April 2017)

Cultivating Enchantment.” Chapter 16. (June 2014)

“Shared Faith.” Feature on Sewanee Writers Conference. Chapter 16. (July 2013)

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