Tag: William Faulkner

  • Glorious Excess: S.A. Cosby and the Future of Southern Fiction

    Glorious Excess: S.A. Cosby and the Future of Southern Fiction

    S.A. Cosby knows that he’s prone to excess. He told The Guardian as much in an interview last year: “I write long sentences. I like similes (maybe too much, according to some reviewers). I like to write esoterically. I pontificate and wax poetic in the middle of gunfights. That’s my style.” –S.A. Cosby In his […]

  • #5-As I Lay Dying-Heartlands 2020 Best Reads

    #5-As I Lay Dying-Heartlands 2020 Best Reads

    Part of my return to the classics this year included another run at William Faulkner. I had only ever gotten through an audio version of A Light in August, which I listened to on a drive across the South a few years ago. The Sound and the Fury seemed impossible, but I started this year’s […]

  • Love, Life, and Salvation in As I Lay Dying

    Love, Life, and Salvation in As I Lay Dying

    Perhaps someday I’ll get around to re-reading William Faulkner, which numerous guides suggest one do in order to get the full flavor of his writing. In the meantime, I’ll step back and gawk, wondering why I’m persisting in this recent quest to get to the heart of Yoknapatawpha County, Faulkner’s mythical Mississippi landscape. I mean, […]

  • Reading The Sound and the Fury in 2020

    Reading The Sound and the Fury in 2020

    In 1929, William Faulkner had a keen sense that it was all falling in of its own weight. When he published The Sound and the Fury, now recognized as an American classic, it confused folks more than wowed them. The first section, written from the perspective of Benjy Compson, the intellectually-challenged son of a white […]

  • Can Anyone Find Home in North Carolina?: A Review of The Barrowfields by Phillip Lewis

    Can Anyone Find Home in North Carolina?: A Review of The Barrowfields by Phillip Lewis

    ‘The intellect when it really tries can for a time replace the sun though it won’t ripen strawberries.’ —Anna Kamieńska, ‘Classicism’ It is often the curse of those who return to their small town homes after education afar that they feel an alienation from the people and customs that formed them.  Not that Henry Aster […]

  • Crossing into Mythical Mexico with Cormac McCarthy: A Review of The Crossing

    Crossing into Mythical Mexico with Cormac McCarthy: A Review of The Crossing

    Cormac McCarthy doesn’t need any more accolades from the likes of me.  His reputation as a great American writer seems pretty secure.  But as a recent convert to the ranks of his fans, I have to say of The Crossing – wow. That’s probably sufficient.  I’m not going to be an equal to his prose […]

  • Heartlands Best Reads of 2017: #6 Sing, Unburied, Sing

    Heartlands Best Reads of 2017: #6 Sing, Unburied, Sing

    Mississippi has many layers.  William Faulkner knew this and crafted his intricate tales of Yoknapatawpha County with characters haunted by the past, spurred by subterranean passions, and trapped in violent, tragic relationships.  Jesmyn Ward claims Faulkner as an literary influence and it shows in her rich novels of Bois Sauvage, like Yoknapatawpha, a fictional rendering […]

  • A Tear for Bois Sauvage: A Review of Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

    A Tear for Bois Sauvage: A Review of Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

    It’s not often that the ending of a book makes me moist-eyed.  And I can’t ever recall when the acknowledgements did that.  But there it was in the final sentences on page 289 of Sing, Unburied, Sing, the 2017 National Book Award-winning novel by Jesmyn Ward:  “In closing, I’d like to thank everyone in my […]

  • Free to Use Dangling Participles: The Heartlands Interview with Katherine James, 2 of 3

    Free to Use Dangling Participles: The Heartlands Interview with Katherine James, 2 of 3

    Let’s not put Katherine James’s debut novel, Can You See Anything Now?, (recently reviewed here on Heartlands), into a box called Christian fiction.  She is a Christian and there are strong Christian themes in the book, but this is not an Amish romance.  James tackles difficult themes like suicide, cutting, and substance abuse with vivid, […]

  • An Osage Mirror: A Review of Killers of the Flower Moon

    An Osage Mirror: A Review of Killers of the Flower Moon

      Two-thirds of the way through this book [Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI] and I was fixing to get very disappointed.  Sure, David Grann had done what his title said that he was going to do.  He had thrown us into the strange wave of murders […]