Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lovely Books and Culture review

A long and magnificent review of A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage by writer Linda McCullough Moore at Books and Culture, edited by that great bookman, John Wilson.

A taste: Which brings us—not before time—to Marly Youmans, whose new novel A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage is literary fiction at its finest. (Tell me you didn't see that coming.) Here is fiction which required the writer to reinvent language, engage magic and mystery with every commonplace of living, explore the whys and wherefores of human understanding, and enlarge the boundaries of what it's good to think about and know. Here is fiction which requires the reader to take it slow, to savor, bask and meditate, to revel, and to laugh aloud and cry. Another:  But what Pip does with all his might-have-beens and what he does with what-just-is is lovely to behold. What Youmans does with only words is beautiful to see.


  1. Ah! This review rightfully praises a writer's writer. Author, Linda McCullough Moore, seems to have read, and re-read this book on several levels, and this shines through in her review. I am happy and grateful, Marly, that word is going forth about this wonderful creation of yours.

    Miss Yo

  2. I am so glad that you are finally getting your due, apparently! May this extend to all your work, belatedly discovered and forthcoming.

  3. That is fantastic! Hurray for Books & Culture (I love them) and hurray for you.

  4. Thanks, Yolanda and Robbi and Hannah. I just arrived in Chapel Hill and am glad to stop driving for a while!

  5. Wonderful review! I always like it when the reviewer doesn't feel compelled to give a plot summary... there are already God's plenty of those afloat. So glad you're here and can't wait til tonight's reading at Flyleaf and to tomorrow night at my table!

  6. Thank you, Laura! See you very soon--


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.