25 Women to Read Before You Die


The Common Review


Of Song and Water: A Novel by Joseph Coulson

Great Lakes Blues

A review by Donna Seaman

In the American Midwest, the presumptive pastoral calm and social conformity associated with the term is more myth than reality. Heartland weather is capricious and extreme. Temperatures abruptly shift, clouds boil up against clear skies, thuggish winds wreak havoc, storms rampage. And this meteorological drama is often matched by human turmoil, ensuring that the Heartland is a place registering harrowing confrontations and abrupt disorder.

Born in Detroit, Joseph Coulson is closely attuned to the region's gently rolling land and chimerical sky, as well as its majestic Great Lakes. He also knows a thing or two about the cadences of an urban core ravaged by the divisions of race and class. A poet and playwright as well as a novelist, Coulson is a meticulous stylist who manages to align the tumultuous inner world of his characters with the sensuous outer world. The Vanishing Moon (2004), Coulson's much praised debut novel, followed the lives of a midwestern family coping with...

Previously Reviewed by The Common Review
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Visigoth by Gary Amdahl

Of Song and Water: A Novel by Joseph Coulson

Whiteman: A Novel by Tony D'Souza

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