Book Review: Insurrections

Fellow Southern literature fanatics will probably recall the following quote from Harper Lee’s classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird: Atticus Finch famously says to Scout, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” To be honest, I’ve always found that quote a little bit perplexing. In theory, I understand the sentiment behind it—namely, that empathy is the very foundation of tolerance and understanding—but I still find myself frustrated by the fact that true and total empathy, this literal “climb[ing] into” the skin of another person is ultimately impossible. However, while physically becoming an

Book Review: Zion

I don’t think it’s an overgeneralization to say that our relationships to our families and to our place of births are frequently fraught with difficulty. Even under the best of circumstances, relationships that are so profound, so essential to our identities, and so impossible to escape are bound to conjure a host of complex emotions, and I would imagine that these already complex emotions become even more complex still when someone is a member of a group or groups of people who have been historically marginalized. It is these complicated emotions that T.J. Jarrett, winner of the George Garrett award and guest writer at this year’s SouthWord on November 3 and 4, bravely tackles in her newest

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