In 2007 I published a political novel. I’d never intended to write it.
Until I was in my late thirties, I kept my political concerns segregated from my creative writing. Of course, they crept in anyway, but always indirectly and never deliberately. On the face of it, I was an apolitical fiction writer, . . . Read more
The weather? How do you argue about that? This was nothing about money or alcohol or Clayton, their son-in-law. Or trivia—whether, say, Eugene McCarthy ever really supported Reagan. On this winter day, he’ d maundered aloud about the heat of last summer, wondered idly if it got over a hundred out on the lake. . . . Read more
Suppose you are walking along a path in the woods, and as you round a bend you suddenly encounter a grizzly bear, just a few feet away, lumbering in your direction. How do you react? Before you have time to think, your body launches a flurry of responses—adrenaline and pain-killing endorphins and some two dozen other hormones surge into your bloodstream, . . . Read more
Spring is finally returning to Athens, Georgia, with dogwood, azalea and, more to the point here, the annual Georgia Review Earth Day Celebration. This year’s guest speaker is Scott Russell Sanders, a writer of skill and probity—and of the hopefulness always associated with this season. . . . Read more
This beautiful head, this whole body, like a Byzantine empress on the mosaics of Ravenna—and this nose, this mouth—and the eyes, they too, those wonderful eyes—all these the worms will eat. And nothing will remain, absolutely nothing!
—Hodler, letter to Hans Mühlestein, ca. late 1914
. . . Read more
Every few minutes, my father pushes out of his armchair to take a tour of his house. He stops at the desk I’ve made of the table off the kitchen and flips through my books. He asks me again what I’m working on, what sort of job I have these days. . . . Read more
Toward the end of my short story “Rapture,” a small, wizened, evangelical grandmother called Meemaw, after speaking in tongues and describing the End Times in lurid detail, levitates for a few glorious seconds before plopping back down upon the stained sofa of a humble living room. Of all the supernatural feats reputedly performed by saints, . . . Read more
From boredom, a way to keep me alert on a daily walk on a path I have traveled for years, . . . Read more
after John Singleton Copley
From the leather bench, legs swinging
a foot from the floor, she brings her gaze
to the shark: its hideous teeth, its misplaced
lips and mistaken shapes, the sinister
way its mass slips beneath the surface
. . .
Brunell Hair lived in a lopsided mill house with her mama and her uncle and her little withered-up critter of a grandmaw. In honor of her eleventh birthday, she was having a slumber party, but so far, only my best friend Bonnie and I had showed. Our mothers had had some kind of powwow, . . . Read more