Rod Davis

Rod Davis is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and author of South, America; Corina’s Way; and other works.
cathy williams, buffalo soldier

Sarah Bird’s Lively New Novel Resurrects a Little-Known Civil War Hero

Bird produces a memorable re-creation of a freed slave who passed as a man to become a Buffalo Soldier — and of the thoroughly racist country in which she suffered and triumphed.

You want to use phrases like “ripping yarn” and “helluva story” for Sarah Bird’s new page-turner, but that makes Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen sound un-literary. It is, and isn’t — both in the best ways. This sweeping … Read More


‘A Shout in the Ruins’ Contends with the South’s Violent History

Kevin Powers is intent on making us see that wars don’t so much start and stop as they generate and breed.

Recent years have brought a resurgent round of literary and cinematic attention to the brutality of slavery, drawing on the rich tradition of the slave narrative and of iconic writers in the lineage of Frederick Douglass, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, … Read More

book review, bandera

Tracking a Deadly Cat on the Texas Frontier in ‘The Which Way Tree’

While the frontier Texas subgenre has its limitations, Elizabeth Crook’s new novel is an enduring adventure tale.

Elizabeth Crook’s latest foray into the labyrinths of family and history in Texas is an absorbing coming-of-age adventure set in post-Civil War chaos, a time when not all that many people came to all that much of an age. Via … Read More

El Paso

Book Report: El Paso on Lithium

What at times in this solid chase-adventure can seem almost like cartoonish hallucination in fact reflects real-time social devolution. The novel’s stereotypical goons and thugs turn out to be like the people around us. Read More


The Body as Battleground

"Making War at Fort Hood" is essential reading in a country that is both shaped by war and too often ignorant of its true costs. Read More