Book Reviews

Book Review: One Man’s Dark (Manning)

Maurice Manning. One Man’s Dark. Port Townsend, Wa.: Copper Canyon Press, 2016. 110 pages. Hardcover. $23.00. On the cover of One Man’s Dark, Maurice Manning’s superb new collection of poems, appears a sepia photograph of the interior of an empty tobacco barn, sunlight visible on and through the spaced boards…

Night Garden (Mullins)

Carrie Mullins. Night Garden. Lexington, Ky.: Old Cove Press, 2016. 241 pages. Softcover. $16.00. The aptly titled Night Garden by Carrie Mullins is a virtual seedbed of characters— characters whose virtues are hidden in the shadows of their circumstances, fertilized by an apathetic economy, isolated by geographic region, and choked…

Utopia Drive (Reece)

Erik Reece. Utopia Drive: A Road Trip Through America’s Most Radical Idea. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016. 368 pages. Hardcover. $28.00. Utopia Drive: A Road Trip Through America’s Most Radical Idea by Erik Reece provides an opportunity to step away from current fractious political discourse and explore…

Dimestore: A Writer’s Life (Smith)

Lee Smith. Dimestore: A Writer’s Life. Chapel Hill, N.C..: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2016. 202 pages. Hardcover. $24.95. Dimestore: A Writer’s Life is a collection of fifteen essays, published over the span of twenty years. “This little book,” as Lee Smith called it in a recent reading in Abingdon,…

The Rope Swing (Corcoran)

Jonathan Corcoran. The Rope Swing: Stories. Morgantown, W. Va.: Vandalia Press, 2016. 144 pages. Softcover. $16.99. To the Outsider reader—the person who isn’t quite sure how to pronounce “Appalachia” and perhaps can’t locate its reaches on a map—the characters in Jonathan Corcoran’s short story collection The Rope Swing will stand…

Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia (Blevins & McElmurray)

Adrian Blevins & Karen Salyer McElmurray, Eds. Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2015. 288 pages. Softcover. $26.95. The anthology Walk Till The Dogs Get Mean: Meditations of the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia, edited by Adrian Blevins and…

Mot (Einstein)

Sarah Einstein. Mot: A Memoir. Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 2015. 168 pages. Hardcover. $24.95. The story of Mot and its author, Sarah Einstein, might be unbelievable as a work of fiction, which makes this memoir all the more remarkable in its telling. Serving the story of an improbable friendship are…