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The Southern Review - Spring 2005

  • Issue Number: Volume 41 Number 2
  • Published Date: Spring 2005
  • Publication Cycle: Quarterly
Everything expected of a journal co-founded by Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks is here in an issue commemorating Warren's 10oth birthday with his own fine prose (three letters to friends) and six memoirs—including the delightful "Places: A Memoir" by his daughter, poet Rosanna Warren. In a season in which rereading All the King's Men for dominant themes seems ever more relevant, the brilliant short stories in this issue touch upon war in "Hot Coffee, Summer" by Christine Grillo, in John Lee's perfect, first-published story "Fires"—"[. . .] a thin blaze over the northern horizon, and we heard that Seoul was about to fall when the pyobom, the leopard, began to appear in the valley," and in Asako Serizawa's memorable study of Alzheimer's Disease "Flight," astonishingly also a first publication. The haunting "The Culvert" by Keith Lee Morris and Rob Yardumian's "A Blue to the Shadow's Black" confront grief while Roger Yepsen's "Suet Soot Suit" is a strange tale of unexpected changes. David Graeme Baker's oils—reminiscent of Andrew Wyeth's work in subject matter—are a beautiful six-page bonus. Like the response to Peter Handke, assailed for writing about his mother's suicide, you may find "Consenting to Love: Autobiographical Roots of ‘Good Country People,’" by Mark Busco, S. J., invasive of Flannery O'Connor's privacy and equally sad, in that neither subject was available to consent. Mark Royden Winchell's "Leslie Fiedler, Ahead of the Crowd"—the critic critiqued. Among the many admirable poets represented, Julianna Baggott's titles intrigue: "Sermon on the Mount Today at my Failing Kmart": "If so blessed, then why does / this dying store—its dusty sprawl— / why does it smell of bleach and woe?" All in all, a wonderful issue.  — Anna Sidak
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Review Posted on April 12, 2016

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