Author Archives: jacksonculpepper

Review of Kirstin Valdez Quade’s Night at the Fiestas

Quade’s Night at the Fiestas deserves every ounce of the praise it’s been given. Here is a collection firmly rooted and grown from the Southwest, particularly northern New Mexico, that tells the stories of the forgotten small towns, desert-blasted wanderers, … Continue reading

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Review of Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven

We’ve had no shortage of post-apocalyptic nihilism-fests in the last few decades, most of them arguing more or less that humanity will ultimately devolve into a frothing state of nature. The Road allowed McCarthy to showcase his particular virtuosity in … Continue reading

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Review of Nathan Ballingrud’s North American Lake Monsters

When I first picked up this book in Asheville’s Malaprops bookstore, I thought it was a collection of literary short fiction. Then a man stepped out of his skin in the first story and I began to doubt my assumption. … Continue reading

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Great Books: How Proverbs Helps You Stay Sane on the Internet

Part of my “Ancient” book list for the Great Books included the Old Testament, a fun read any day. I’ve never really read the Bible as literature before, and it’s an interesting shift. The literary power of Genesis, Exodus, and … Continue reading

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Taking on the Albatross of the Great Books

When I started in the MFA program at the University of the South Carolina, the requirements included a comprehensive exam over a list of novels, theory, and short story collections totaling 130 books. Thankfully the director who took over in … Continue reading

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What’s Good About the South?

I’ve recently come across several articles like this critiquing the South: “As long as America runs according to the rules of Southern politics, economics and culture, we’re no longer free citizens exercising our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit … Continue reading

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The New Ghost Stories: Dear Esther and Gone Home

While there are arguments over whether these two titles are indeed games, Gone Home and Dear Esther are stunning works that the gaming world should proudly claim. Unfortunately for the reviewer, the less said about Gone Home, the better. It is best to approach … Continue reading

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