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John S. Sledge

John S. Sledge is an architectural historian with the Mobile Historic Development Commission in Alabama. He served as books editor for the Mobile Press Register for seventeen years. His most recent book is Southern Bound: A Gulf Coast Journalist on Books, Writers, and Literary Pilgrimages of the Heart (University of South Carolina Press).


Books That Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal. Edited by Jennifer Cognard-Black and Melissa A. Goldthwaite. New York, 2014. 384p. HB, $30.00.

Meant to Cook

April 16, 2015 | Criticism

Foods and culinary customs from several ethnic groups and every region of the United States are presented, but the Southwest and South are the most memorably conjured. In “Puffballs: Finding the Inside,” English professor Thomas Fox Averill describes a little pueblo north of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where food is inextricably braided into the townscape itself:

"The Poet Edgar Allan Poe: Alien Angel," By Jerome McGann

Defending ‘The Jingle Man’

December 2, 2014 | Criticism

  The Poet Edgar Allan Poe: Alien Angel. By Jerome McGann. Harvard, 2014. 256p. HB. $24.95. I hadn’t read any of Edgar Allan Poe’s verse in decades. So when Jerome McGann’s new book landed on my desk, I decided to reacquaint myself with [...]

"A Literary Education and Other Essays," by Joseph Epstein

A Master Essayist Releases a New Collection

August 4, 2014 | Criticism

Well into the wee hours, I stumbled downstairs and stretched out on an overstuffed leather couch, with several copies of the American Scholar to speed me into dreamland. And it was there that I discovered Joseph Epstein, or Aristides, as was his pen name in those days in that publication. 

A Southwestern Classic Turns Eighty

April 22, 2014

We first crossed into New Mexico westbound on Interstate 40 at Bard. It was the spring of 2005, and we were heading to Las Vegas to see my sister-in-law Gail graduate from law school. When my wife told me that she wanted to attend the ceremony, I had [...]