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The Southern Review - Summer 2003

The august tradition of Southern writing that is The Southern Review comes by its reputation honestly. The author list is always speckled with literary stars, mostly with similarly august traditions, like Louis Simpson and Richard Tillinghast. The content is usually rewarding, and this issue is no exception. The short fiction in here is as good as it gets; I found myself spontaneously reading the stories to others. “The Son’s Point of View” by Brock Clarke, a tale of family tragedy told by one character trying to see it through another’s eyes, and “Witness Protection” by Mark Jacobs were particularly compelling. “Witness Protection,” is a haunting story of a journalist who investigates a mysterious homeless woman: “Inocencia disappeared again. Several years passed. No one was willing to speculate in my presence about what was done to her. What lay beyond dispute was the appearance on Little Twig of a women in her twenties, disheveled and disoriented, too disturbing to be beautiful, who liked to play checkers.” Among the poems, the light-hearted “Grammar” by Michael Chitwood was particularly enjoyable. The reviews were intelligent and respectful. Overall, a good read and a good way to check the pulse of contemporary southern writing. [The Southern Review, Louisiana State University, 43 Allen Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.  E-mail: . Single issue $8.00. ] - JHG

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Review Posted on September 30, 2003

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