RaveThe Los Angeles Times...remote shores can be ideal test sites for the vagaries of human behavior. Utopian, dystopian, fantastic or mundane, they rise from the sea less as landmasses than as literary metaphors. Yet the island in Paul Yoon’s Once the Shore manages to be both: a rich, fully realized place and a common thread that links its residents through history and time ... Yoon is never a cruel writer. Even in their sadness, his stories are tender, lucent and vital. They unfold on every corner of the island, across the seasons ... Yoon’s prose has a clear-cut beauty with traces, at times, of folkloric cadence ... Yoon has described a perfect arc of time and geography, a whole water-bound world.
C. E. Morgan
RaveBook ForumAll the Living is not quite a southern gothic—it has none of the warp, satire, and frank social comment of, say, Flannery O’Connor’s or Eudora Welty’s fiction—and Morgan does not delve, as Marilynne Robinson does, into the backlog of town and family history, though her writing possesses something of Robinson’s numinous style. This novel is, instead, a study of feeling bound up with place ... Morgan at once probes and tempers this privation in rich, poetic prose. She knows the land and her characters in minute detail and sets them forth with startling, lyric certainty ... Her prose is both earthbound and hymnlike, with the slight inflection of southern scripture