The many fans of best-selling author Robert Morgan are no doubt very excited about the recent publication of The Road from Gap Creek, a sequel to his wildly popular, Oprah Book Club pick, Gap Creek. Our reviewer predicts not only that these fans will be satisfied, but also that new fans will be won over by Morgan's "painfully luminous portrait of rural American family life: honest, captivating and resplendent in all its messy glory." (Read the full review.)
We were curious about which books Morgan has enjoyed reading lately, so we asked him. Here are his three recommendations:
GRIT LIT: A ROUGH SOUTH READER
Edited by Brian Carpenter and Tom Franklin
This summer I’ve been struggling with Lyme disease and have often preferred reading shorter things. One book that has held my attention is Grit Lit: A Rough South Reader, edited by Brian Carpenter and Tom Franklin. While the focus of the collection is on the “rough South,” there is a great range and diversity of styles and subject matter in the memoirs and stories. Overall, you get a sense of the richness and diversity of contemporary Southern writing.
THE PARIS REVIEW INTERVIEWS
By The Paris Review
Another collection I have been sampling with particular pleasure is the four-volume Paris Review Interviews. The classic interviews by Faulkner and Hemingway are as good as they ever were. But the surprise is the quality of interviews with some of the younger writers, such as Richard Price and Stephen King. King gives more tips about writing than anyone else, and he has a winning candor and is always entertaining.
Of the recent novels I have read, perhaps the most memorable is Jill McCorkle’s Life After Life. Set in the Pine Haven Retirement Center, it is a delightful and surprising group portrait of residents and those who attend them. Each character has a very different background and set of aspirations. My favorite character is the wisecracking Rachel Silverman, but the young girl Abby is a close second. This novel gives us an intimate window on several lives, and makes the retirement center an image of the world at large, with all its quarrels, lies, intrigues, and loves.
What say you, readers? Will you be checking out The Road from Gap Creek or any of Morgan's recommendations?