Heartlands Best Reads of 2017:#1 Lincoln in the Bardo (& a recap)

There are certain things you know you’re going to find when you sit down to read a George Saunders story.  It will be weird, funny, engaging, and surprisingly deep.  I expected no less from Lincoln in the Bardo, Saunders’ first novel and I was not disappointed. The book, which won the Man Booker Prize this year, […]

God and Arson: My interview with Monica Hesse concludes – part 3 of 3

In previous segments of this interview, I talked with Monica Hesse, author of American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land, about her experience of the Eastern Shore and her thoughts about what the 2012-2013 arsons have to say about rural America in general.  Today we conclude with some thoughts about the religious life […]

The Richness & The Struggle: My interview with Monica Hesse continues – part 2 of 3

In part 1 of my interview with Monica Hesse, author of American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land, we talked about her experiences of the Eastern Shore, where the arsons explored in the book took place.  In this segment of the interview we looked at what the arsons might say about America more […]

A Reporter Comes to the Shore: My interview with Monica Hesse – part 1 of 3

Monica Hesse, an author and reporter for the Washington Post, came to the Shore to write a book about the spate of arsons that took place on the Eastern Shore between 2012 and 2013.  That resulted in the bestselling book, American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land, which I recently reviewed on Heartlands. Monica agreed […]

Love and Arson on the Eastern Shore: A Review of American Fire

It’s in the nature of small towns and isolated places to believe they’re special.  Recently I drove through Ayden, North Carolina and found a historical marker revealing that President Washington had spent the night in 1791…10 miles east.  It was something. So when the Eastern Shore of Virginia showed up in the New York Times […]