The Literature of the Ozarks (2019), edited by Phillip Douglas Howerton

Howerton, a professor at Missouri State University—West Plains, surveys Ozarks literature from the travel journal of the unofficial founder of Ozarks writing, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft,  through the contemporary scene. He opens the collection with a wonderful, very foreign Osage creation story, put into English by the Omaha Indian scholar, Francis La Flesche. Otherwise, while the … Continue reading The Literature of the Ozarks (2019), edited by Phillip Douglas Howerton

Back Yonder: An Ozark Chronicle, by Wayman Hogue (1932, 2016)

In a way, Back Yonder is a standard story of growing up in the backwoods of the Ozarks before the roads were good and the REA brought electricity. It covers what you’d expect: the crops for a subsistence lifestyle, home life in simple log or clapboard structures, what passed for schooling,  courtship rituals, wild goings-on … Continue reading Back Yonder: An Ozark Chronicle, by Wayman Hogue (1932, 2016)

The Maid’s Version (2013), by Daniel Woodrell

Reviewers often compare Daniel Woodrell to William Faulkner (easy to see), Flannery O’Connor (not really; she was a devout Catholic and much funnier), and Cormac McCarthy (again, because of the Faulknerian prose, the violence, the testosterone). One might also add Jim Harrison (Harrison was better with plots), Thomas McGuane (more absurd), and here’s an odd … Continue reading The Maid’s Version (2013), by Daniel Woodrell

First review of DOWN ALONG THE PINEY

Mort, John (author). Sept. 2018. 210p. Univ. of Notre Dame, paper, $20 (9780268104061). REVIEW. First published August, 2018 (Booklist). In his return to the short form, Vietnam veteran Mort (Soldier in Paradise​, 2013) delivers 13 stories about everyday Americans looking for love, acceptance, and a place to call home. The tales are set all over North America, but … Continue reading First review of DOWN ALONG THE PINEY