For previous posts on the contributors, see these:
River Jordan is an established literary figure, speaker, teacher, and radio host. Her work has been featured by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, NPR’s Book Talk, Guideposts Magazine, and the Southern Literary Review. She is the author of four novels and three spiritual memoirs. Jordan’s stories are most frequently compared to Flannery O’Connor, Harper Lee, and William Faulkner, and her novel Saints In Limbo was hailed as a “southern gothic masterpiece.” I loved reviewing her book, The Ancient Way: Discoveries on the Path of Celtic Christianity, and also writing a blurb for her book Confessions of a Christian Mystic. For over fifteen years River hosted Clearstory Radio on WRFN 107 in Nashville. I was honored to be her guest at the 2017 Southern Festival of Books, when she interviewed me for my debut novel Cherry Bomb. (see photo).
In February River moved from her home “on the hill” outside Nashville to the East Coast of North Carolina. You can read all about her journey on her blog, like this post, “A Writer Living on the Cape Fear Coast.”
It came as no surprise to me that River chose to write a short story for this collection. The contributors were invited to write essays, poetry, or fiction, and River’s is the lone fiction piece in the book. It’s not that her nonfiction isn’t wonderful, including three amazing spiritual memoirs. The thing is, River often steps to a different beat, with her Southern gothic style, which is one of the hallmarks of her writing.
Here’s a brief excerpt from her story in All Night, All Day:
“Trouble Comes Around”
It was summertime so he spent most of his days outside the camper and if he’d been a praying man he would have prayed for little things. A breeze, a rush of rain, a clear night sky, a shooting star. Thing he could appreciate all by himself. But he kept the simple prayers to himself, having given up on the almighty a long time ago.
The morning God called his hand had been same old as always, making coffee in the early morning hours before dawn. Watching the sun come up . . . far enough back off the road, deep in the woods . . . . An hour after sunrise he heard the voice of a girl . . . She had a large stick in her hand was waving it in front of her and turning in small circles as she tried to shake the stick at three large, skinny dogs that circled her, their throats full of growls in what he knew was a formation that would go from stalkin’ to killin’ in no time. . . .
Want to know what happened to the girl? Was an angel involved? What did the old man do? You’ll have to get the book and read River’s story to find out!