Friday, October 17, 2008

Link to Review

My review of Ron Rash's newly-released novel Serena appeared in the Charlotte Observer's Book Page this past Sunday. You can read it at this link: If you want the abridged version: I've like all of Rash's novels so far, but I particularly liked this one. The allusions to "that Scottish play" intrigued me (having taught it about 30 times in 18 years), but the one element to rival a character with whomI can identify is a character that chills me to the bone. Without question, Serena falls into the second camp.

One thing I like best about living in North Carolina is the literary community here. Not only do we have more than our fair share of the nation's good writers, but they generally seem to encourage other aspiring writers and to appreciate their readers.

I know many writers hate being labeled "Southern writers," but as such, they are among splendid company. For years now, I've been a member of Lemuria Bookstore's First Editions Book Club. Membership is simple: Give 'em your Visa number and they send you a signed first edition every month. For a book lover, what could be better? Although their selections aren't limited to Southern authors, they've included some of the best. Sometimes their picks are new authors; sometimes they're authors with track records. I'll admit that I don't get them all read as they appear, but I am comforted knowing I will never run out of books to read--not anytime soon, anyway.

Lemuria Bookstore, located in Jackson, Mississippi, is one of the largest independent bookstores in the country, I am told. I want to find out for myself. My friend B. C. Crawford, an English teacher at Hibriten High School, in Lenoir, North Carolina, returned to Mississippi when he retired. Our friendship developed through discovery of common backgrounds, then common interests and friends. Now we keep in touch sporadically through email and Facebook. (Yes, children, your teachers are now there. You may have to go somewhere else!) One goal for the summer is a road trip with my friend Millie to visit B.C. and Bonnie in Mississippi, where he has promised to take us on a literary tour of Mississippi: Faulkner, Miss Eudora, and, I suppose, Elvis! Maybe while I'm there, I can arrange a face off between Mississippi and North Carolina for literary honors.

Then after we talk books awhile, we can move to that other most revered topics of polite Southern conversation--college football!


Laurie Kolp said...

Hey- I'm a writing pal from "Poetic Asides" blog and a fan of yours. I love your blog. I am a reading teacher (or was- taught 12 yrs., now staying at home for a while with the youngest of 3 just started kinder)and my kids have been exposed to so many books. When I quit teaching, I just brought my whole library home for my kids. They all enjoy it, except my youngest has been reluctant to pick it up.

Keep up the good work, and please feel free to visit my blog (click on pic).

Laura said...

I love posts like this. Keep it up. I'd love to see one every day if you were able.