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W. Ralph Eubanks

W. Ralph Eubanks is a former editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review. He is the author of Ever Is a Long Time (Basic Books, 2003) and The House at the End of the Road (Harper, 2009). His next book, A Place Like Mississippi, is forthcoming (Workman, 2021). A 2007 Guggenheim fellow, he is currently a visiting professor of English and Southern studies and writer-in-residence at the University of Mississippi.


Fort Reno Park, Chesapeake St. NW. Photo by María Luz Bravo.

Literary Life in a Plague Year

Summer 2020 | Photography

It is rare to walk through empty streets in downtown Washington, DC, in broad daylight. Yet this past spring, when it seemed as if every living thing had leapt into a void, I learned that what you see and how you see it changes in a relatively unpeop [...]

Triumph of the Wills

August 16, 2017

Last weekend, a friend posted images of Oxford in 1962 and Charlottesville in 2017 side by side with the caption “The names have changed, but the racism remains the same.”

All the World Is a Stage

Winter 2015 | Editor's Desk

For those of us who came of age in the shadow of the Cold War, popular culture as much as actual events affected perceptions of the frayed relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union. By the 1980s, judging from the music, film, and art of the time, nuclear Armageddon was the only possible outcome of the political tensions between the two superpowers

Portrait of the Artist

Fall 2014 | Editor's Desk

Self-doubt can be a writer’s best friend or mortal enemy. It all depends on how one directs the inner uncertainty that is the constant companion of every wordsmith who puts pen to paper for a living.

Summer Reading

Summer 2014 | Editor's Desk

Our cover story takes us to Cambodia, which lies nestled between its more geopolitically powerful neighbors, Vietnam and Thailand. What the country lacks in regional influence it makes up for in the vitality of its waterways, particularly Lake Tonle Sap, which is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. The Tonle Sap—​meaning “great lake”—​flows into the Tonle Sap River and intersects with the Mekong River in Phnom Penh. During the summer, monsoon rains force so much water down the Mekong that the Tonle Sap changes direction and flows back into the lake and swells it in size.

History’s Echo

March 31, 2014 | Editor's Desk

If spacious skies rising above amber waves of grain capture the romantic vision of an agrarian ideal, cotton fields serve as a reminder of the grittier, exploitative side of American agriculture. The sight of vast fields smattered with white bolls evokes nostalgia for many, but it’s undeniable that cotton’s investiture and reign as king was long and tortured, fostered by the twin evils of slavery and sharecropping.

Casting a Light on Iconoclasts and Ideas

Fall 2013 | Editor's Desk

Being called an iconoclast today is more a badge of honor than it was half a century ago when Merwin chose to break with poetic tradition. For our fall issue, VQR features men and women, past and present, who jolted society with the shock of the new, advocated for social change, created a fresh musical sound, or stretched artistic boundaries.

Blurring the Worlds of Fiction and Reality

October 14, 2013 | Criticism

The experience of reading literary diaries and letters can feel like an act of voyeurism. For the reader, the first few pages of revelations are guiltily tantalizing, as the inner life of a literary figure comes into focus and trips are made behind closed doors.

Across the Transom

August 1, 2013 | Editor's Desk

Since my appointment as editor of VQR, I’ve frequently been asked about the direction I plan to take the magazine. The question comes from both writers and readers, with writers wondering if VQR will be a welcoming home for their work and readers hoping they will continue to find compelling stories in our pages.