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Shenandoah - Winter 2006

  • Issue Number: Volume 56 Number 3
  • Published Date: Winter 2006
  • Publication Cycle: annual

Is it me or have Shenandoah’s covers gotten hipper and hipper? Vibrant full-page paintings, an enormous guitar, now a haunting neon-red vintage Billiards sign—finally covers as bold as the contents. George Singleton goes wild with a 25-word title to his story about a religious group who print Revelations on their trailers for weather protection (“everyone took to insuring them with the Good Book”). Mixing his trademark humor and imagination, this brilliant critique-of-Southern-culture-studies-gone-wild leaves you grinning like a madman. Short-short experimentalist Nathan Leslie conjures a grouse farmer’s revenge with prose as lyrical as it is original. Bret Anthony Johnston—Harvard professor and pro-skater (did I mention he’s a skate-boarder?)—delivers a novel excerpt, James Lee Burke—yep, author of the popular Dave Robicheaux series—a violent story about an adversarial rancher entangled with criminal bikers. The first of two essays is professor Cynthia Lewis’ disturbing account of a fixated student’s sexual email harassment (she even reproduces their offensive content—you’ve been warned), offering chilling insights into intimidation, institutional red-tape, and personal empowerment; the other recounts Paul Crenshaw’s lifelong relationship—as active member, civilian neighbor, chicken-savior—with the National Guard. Seven book reviews finish the issue, ranging from Cormac McCarthy to Charles Frazier to the appropriately hyped novel Tehano. Don’t skip the “editor’s notes”: it’s really R.T. Smith’s essay on Appalachian ginseng hunters, and the language alone makes you wish he wrote under a pseudonym so it didn’t have to go in back.

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Review Posted on January 31, 2007

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