Category: Southern Fiction

  • New stories illuminate Old Crimes

    Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer OLD CRIMES. By Jill McCorkle. Algonquin Press. 241 pages, $27. Any reader of literary fiction will relish the stories in Jill McCorkle’s latest collection. Once again, this North Carolina writer demonstrates the same sense of detail, depth of perception, and artful composition that have marked her ouevre over the years.…

  • From chaos, violence comes a brilliant novel

    Bob Moyer reviews the latest novel by one of his favorite authors. One note: Despite what Bob writes, not all Southerners called the conflict of the 1860s the War Between the States. Some – I think particularly of an elderly woman who owned a historic house in downtown Charleston that a group of graduate students…

  • Things done for love

    Bob Moyer reviews the latest book from one of North Carolina’s finest novelists, Ron Rash. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer THE CARETAKER. By Ron Rash. Doubleday. 252 pages. $28. Ron Rash populates his North Carolina mountains with some of the meanest people you never want to meet. Serena, the woman featured in his best-selling novel,…

  • Hell on Earth

    Bob Moyer takes a look at the latest book by an award-winning and best-selling crime novelist from southeastern Virginia, and likes what he reads. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer ALL THE SINNERS BLEED. By S.A. Cosby. Flatiron Books (Macmillan).  352 pages. $27.99 Charon County, the fictional Virginia setting of this novel, seems a typical Southern…

  • Like fine wine, a good novel grows better with age

    Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson. RUIN CREEK. By David Payne. Cedar Lane Books, an imprint of Ingram. 367 pages. $18, paperback. If you’re looking for a beautifully written, moving, wise novel to read while you’re lounging on the beach under a shady tent or umbrella, you couldn’t do better than Ruin Creek, the second of…

  • Genius in the making

    Bob Moyer finds much to interest him in a collection of early Tennessee Williams stories. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer THE CATERPILLAR DOGS AND OTHER EARLY STORIES. By Tennessee Williams. New Directions. $14.95, paperback. There are pleasures aplenty in the youthful writing of what will become genius. This slim volume of Tennessee Williams’ writings exhibits…

  • Lee Smith alert!

    Once I get over being envious and annoyed that Bob Moyer got hold of this new Lee Smith novel before I did, I will find it and read it. She’s a bright star of contemporary Southern and North Carolina fiction.    Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer.    SILVER ALERT. By Lee Smith. Algonquin Books. 224…

  • A North Carolina novel you won’t want to miss

    Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson INDIGO FIELD. By Marjorie Hudson. Regal House Publishing. 410 pages. $22.95. Marjorie Hudson’s debut novel is so beautifully written, so powerful, so true and so haunting that it’s hard to come up with one adjective sufficient to describe it. Suffice it to say that if you’re making a list of…

  • Murder at the salvage yard

    Here’s a remarkably good first novel by the latest addition to my list of outstanding North Carolina authors. Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson IT DIES WITH YOU.  By Scott Blackburn. Crooked Lane Books. 304 pages. $27.99. When Hudson Miller was just a boy, his dad “dismantled” what had been a reasonably happy, church-going, middle class…

  • A gem of a Southern novel

    Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson SOUTH OF HEAVEN. By Patti Frye Meredith. Mint Hill Books, Main Street Rag Publishing Company. $17.95, paperback. Patti Frye Meredith’s South of Heaven is a gem of a Southern novel, one of those rare books that captures life in the South with all its contradictions and nuances without turning characters…