In the tradition of Southern storytelling, Mary Helen Stefaniak’s novel The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia offers a window on the power of myth to transform one small town during the Depression. Leslie Clements explores how that tension between progress and tradition free the inhabitants of Baghdad, Georgia, for radical reinvention.
Debut novelist Urban Waite enjoys a character-driven thriller, which is exactly what he delivers with The Terror of Living. In conversation with Cam Terwilliger, Waite reveals how the selfish characters of Graham Greene shaped his idea of the perfect book, how an editor who understands the writer’s vision can only help a book, and how flexibility can be the novelist’s best friend.
J.T. Bushnell considers how Lori Ostlund’s debut story collection, The Bigness of the World, filled as it is with “godless homosexuals scattered across the globe” would have likely pleased Flannery O’Connor, whose own work is “unapologetically regional and almost dogmatically Catholic.” Ostlund, who won the Flannery O’Connor Prize for Short Fiction last year, writes of the mystery beneath our outer trappings, an underlying truth that binds the two writers in common cause.
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