The Devil made them do it

Three years ago, Ohio author Donald Ray Pollock received widespread acclaim for his fictional debut, "Knockemstiff," a collection of short stories some likened to a modern-day Winesburg, Ohio, or what the New York Times quaintly referred to as "Winosburg, Ohio". His new novel is out this month, and it's another fine walk on the dark side of Ohio.

Erin McCarthy, Henny Penny and good news

I had the privilege to join Ohio writer Erin McCarthy at a juvenile correction facility today, where she spoke in the library to 10 teen-aged girls. She gave the girls copies of the book "Demon Envy" and left copies of "Speed Demon" with the librarian. Erin McCarthy (who writes under the name Erin Lynn for her young adult books) and the girls engaged in a lively conversation about writing, getting published and books.

A super son nevertheless: Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda reviews Jayne Anne Phillips Lark and Termite in the current New York Review of Books (April 30, 2009). His exceptional analysis of this dreamy, multi-narrated novel unravels the complexity that IMO makes the story less accessible to all readers. Anyone who's already read the novel or who plans to read it will find … Continue reading A super son nevertheless: Michael Dirda

Breathing the most fascinating and admirable characteristics of race

Paul Lawrence Dunbar come to mind?  Not as well known yet writing during the same time period, Elliott Blaine Henderson hit my radar when a book dealer handed me one of his collections, Humble Folks, published in 1909.  I had no idea who Henderson was but fell in love with his photo in the book and also in … Continue reading Breathing the most fascinating and admirable characteristics of race