Saying Their Names: Jesmyn Ward’s Mississippi Memoir

Jesmyn Ward’s memoir, Men We Reaped, derives its title from an arresting Harriet Tubman quote that appears in the book as an epigraph: It’s an interesting frame for the story of a young African-American woman’s life, especially one who has been as successful as Ward. With Salvage the Bones and Sing, Unburied, Sing, Ward has […]

Pulling Back the Veil in the Vale of Opioids: Beth Macy’s Dopesick

Three months into our current pandemic we know the scenario. “Epidemics unfold ‘like a vector phenomenon, where you have one individual who seeds that community and then the spread begins.’”(127)  Dr. Anna Lembke could have been talking about COVID-19, but the Stanford specialist in addiction medicine was talking about opioids and ace Virginia reporter Beth […]

Starving to See Every Bit: A Review of Brian Doyle’s One Long River of Song

There’s a special kind of glory in the writing of those who bring extraordinary attention and a capacious spiritual vocabulary to the business of describing the world as it is. The Irish seem to have such glory in spades, even in the diaspora. And it certainly touched the late Brian Doyle, whose essays have been […]