We Americans sometimes forget how new we are to the history of the world. Here in Western North Carolina, for…
They were known as the West Memphis Three: Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., three teenagers who were accused…
With its title Colony Collapse Disorder taken from a recent mysterious collapse of honeybee populations in North America, Keith Flynn’s…
Recently, when I was surfing through a depressing collection of nighttime TV programs — religious rants, psychics, cooking shows and…
Since the Second World War, Americans have lived by the old dictum that only the dead have seen the end…
Ron Rash’s latest collection of short stories echos a theme that runs through all of his works: an awareness that Appalachia…
William Manchester, author of a number of best-selling books, including The Death of A President, American Caesar, and Goodbye, Darkness,…
In recent years, I have become interested in an obscure incident that occurred in Jackson County in 1882 — the…
Since reading Ben Wattenberg’s The Birth Dearth 25 years ago, the subject of demography has fascinated me. This past week…
If you are literate and moderately aware of what passes for entertainment in film, popular novels and comics, then you…
Of all the Beat writers of the 1940s and 1950s — Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, John Clellon Holmes, Gary Snyder,…
“Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.” — Cicero, 106 B.C. Stacy…
For the past 80 years more and more Americans have linked themselves economically to the machinations of the federal government.…
A couple of years ago, I blundered into something called “The Bottom Dog Appalachian Writers Series.” Published in Ohio, this…
Let me take a deep breath and see if I can get this out in one long ugly sentence:  A…
Daniel Emerson is afraid of black people. After a chance encounter with a group of violent African American teenagers left…
Although its publisher marketed Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever as a children’s book, this touching story of a mother’s love…
In recent years, there has been a kind of Swedish literary invasion in America, especially in the horror genre. Perhaps…
As the poet Yvan Goll lay in a hospital in Paris dying of leukemia, a continuous line of some of…
Think of the times someone has said to you: “You’ll love this book!” This well-intentioned person then shoves a book…
Anyone who remembers Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby (1967) and the Roman Polanski film that came out about a year later,…
From the foothills of the Southern Appalachians, and in the tradition of such spiritual classics as Gurdjieff’s Meetings With Remarkable…
When I was a child living in Boonville, N.C., a town of 600 people, my mother would load us into…
I have been a Dennis Lehane fan for about two decades now, and after reading classics like Mystic River, Shutter…
Mark Helprin drives me crazy. Helprin’s novels — he is the author of A Soldier of the Great War, Freddy…
I always thought he was guilty. Any doubts that I might have felt vanished after I read Joe McGinniss’ Fatal…
In Creole Belle (ISBN 978-1-4516-4813-3, $27.99), novelist James Lee Burke returns to a territory he now owns in the literary…
Kind hearts, winter has come. That dire prediction that began over 4,000 pages ago with A Game of Thrones has…
A distracted mother off to the store forgets to shut the door from the kitchen to the garage, puts her…
Here is a book about storytelling that strikes a responsive chord in my own heart. Not only is Mary Hamilton a gifted…
By early September in these mountains the markers of autumn are very much with us. The cool nights diminish the…
By Brent Martin It is a rare event these days to come across a work of non-fiction dealing with any…
Let me begin by telling you that the book title above is misleading. Gerry Spence has more then a dozen published…
It’s that time of year when yellow buses roll down country roads, when children disappear from the stores and streets…
Ramblin’ in Rabun is a reprint of a delightful book that was written down in Clayton, Ga., some 40 years…
In her latest novel, Starting From Happy (ISBN 978-1-4391-02185, $24), Patricia Marx, author of Him Her Him Again The End…
Well, kind hearts, here we are in the fourth of a five-book series.  At the risk of being accused of…
Some years ago, a local artist mounted a painting in a local art show in which he painted Christ with…
I apologize. About a month ago, when I concluded my review of Clash of Kings, I noted that I would…
What would you do if your teenaged daughter was assaulted, beaten and shot almost to the point of death, and…
Michael O’Brien’s The Father’s Tale (Ignatius Press, ISBN 978-0-89870-815-8) has more strikes against it than Babe Ruth on a bad…
“... and these signs shall follow those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons, they will speak…
Long before the first Europeans arrived, the Cherokees developed ceremonials that focused on the spiritual power of running water. When…
In Frank B. Robinson’s Thirty Days Hath September (ISBN 978-1-4701-6725-7), a man with a murky past, Alex Madrid, finds temporary…
I’d never read a horror-fiction genre book in my life. That is, until I found myself at an author’s event…
Although A Clash of Kings, the second in George R. R. Martin’s epic series, has a multitude of unforgettable characters,…
In his Foreword to Robert Hartwell Fiske’s The Best Words (ISBN 978-193333882-8, $14.94), Richard Lederer reminds us of Mark Twain’s…
For those who don’t know, James Still (1906-2001) is one of the most beloved and influential of all Appalachian writers.…
Readers, be forewarned. If you willingly enter the fanciful world of George R. R. Martin’s Songs of Ice and Fire:…
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