Season of the Dragonflies by Sarah Creech

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Sarah Creech’s first novel, Season of the Dragonflies (William Morrow 2014), is a beautiful book and mesmerizing story. The story is about the Lenore women and their perfumery in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it is, as the synopsis promises, “a beguiling tale of practical magic, old secrets, and new love.”  Continue reading

Review of Louisiana Purchase by Elizabeth Burk

Here, in Charlotte, North Carolina, early winter is grey with rain and clouds and cold. And something about the color of the sky makes me miss Louisiana. I picked up Louisiana Purchase by Elizabeth Burk (Yellow Flag Press 2014), and while I hoped that it would quell my craving for roux-based poetry, I did not know how fully it would suit.

YFP-124 Cover final

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Rivers by Michael Farris Smith

RiversImagine for a moment the devastation brought about by a particularly bad hurricane.  Imagine if, in the wake of that first hurricane, another one headed in just a few days later.  And another.  And another.  Imagine that this happened for so long, that things got so bad, the government wrote off an entire section of the country.  Imagine the kinds of people who would stay behind in a no-man’s land battered routinely by storms of ever-increasing size.  This is the world of Rivers, the remarkable debut novel from Michael Farris Smith, out next month from Simon and Schuster. Continue reading

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz

This Is How You Lose HerA week or two ago, a friend of mine on Facebook posted a link to an article that focused on overrated writers.  At the bottom of the article was a slideshow breaking down the literary crimes of fifteen different authors.  Their sins, according to the writer of the article, range from obscurantism to over-specificity.  Mid-way through this slideshow – which was already chockfull of writers I love and admire – up popped a picture of my current literary objet d’amour. Continue reading

Galilee by Clive Barker

GalileeWhen I was 16, I didn’t think there was a better writer than Clive Barker.  Weaveworld and The Great and Secret Show were among my favorite books.  I spent three or four months immersed in the thousand page glory of Imagica.  My first experience reading short stories for pleasure, rather than as a requirement for an English class, came in the form of Barker’s Books of Blood.  All of that is to say, when Galilee came out in 1998, I was well-versed in Barker’s unique blend of horror and fantasy.  I bought the hardcover version as soon as I could scrape together enough allowance money.  That night, I sat down to read what would surely be Barker’s grandest achievement.  I couldn’t make it through twenty pages.

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