Good News: Paulette Jiles’s Latest Novel, News of the World

This is my favorite photo of myself. It was Christmas. I was two years old, clutching my teddy bear and wearing my cowgirl outfit. You can’t tell, but the boots were red, and I wore them everywhere. Later, I acquired a coonskin cap, just like Davy—Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier. Back then I […]

Fried Neck Bones and Some Home Fries: Delectable History through Southern Regional Food

About this time, the editor, who is spending a total of three weeks in Morocco, is probably sick and tired of Moroccan food and is yearning, yes, licking her lips over the prospect of returning home to the South and eating a great big bowl of grits. Seems like a good time to revisit this […]

Vinegar and Shrews – Anne Tyler’s Latest Book and Shakespeare’s Comedy

On the one hand you have feminism. On the other, you have romance and comedy. Assuming both hands belong to the same person – say, Anne Tyler – together they reveal more of the human condition than either could on its own. Welcome to Vinegar Girl, a slender volume that might be heftier than you […]

Lily and the Octopus: A Story of Love and Loss

When my husband and I married in 1964, one of the first things we did was buy a dog. Not just ANY dog, but a dachshund.  Originally, we had yearned for a basset hound, but the  couple next door to us in our first apartment had one, and his feet were bigger than mine.  So . […]

The Vagabond’s Saga: Reading two clan narratives separated by a thousand years

Five days from now I’m leaving my fluttery skirts and tank-tops behind and going to Iceland. I’ve skimmed a guidebook or two, but mostly I’m preparing by reading The Sagas of Icelanders. Sure, it might not be super relevant to cafés in Reykjavik or useful as to which camping sites are the best, but for […]

Outrunning the Villagers Carrying Torches and Pitchforks: A Review of Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones

Do you consider a rare steak overcooked? Does a full moon make you want to rip off your clothes and howl? Is lycanthropy your favorite four-syllable word? Are An American Werewolf in London and its sequel …in Paris your go-to date movies? If so, you might be a werewolf wannabe, but you’re not the real […]

One Tortured Immigrants’ Son: Shelter: A Novel by Jung Yun

I want so much to know whether Jung Yun has a second book in process. And if so, when I will be able to get hold of it. It is not often that I am stunned and bewitched by a novel, particularly a debut novel. All too often I understand the characters too early, push […]