River Jordan is a southerner with a global perspective. She began her writing career as a playwright and spent over ten years with the Loblolly Theatre group, where her original works were produced, including Mama Jewels: Tales from Mullet Creek, Soul, Rhythm and Blues, and Virga.

Ms. Jordan’s first novel, The Gin Girl (Livingston Press, 2003), has garnered such high praise as “This author writes with a hard bitten confidence comparable to Ernest Hemingway. And yet, in the Southern tradition of William Faulkner, she can knit together sentences that can take your breath.”

Kirkus Reviews described her second novel, The Messenger of Magnolia Street, as “a beautifully written atmospheric tale.” It was applauded as “a tale of wonder” by Southern Living, who chose the novel as their Selects feature for March 2006, and described by other reviewers as ” a riveting, magical mystery” and “a remarkable book.”

Her third novel, Saints In Limbo has been painted by some of the finest fiction voices of today as “a lyrical and relentlessly beautiful book,” and “a wise, funny, joyful and deadly serious book, written with a poet’s multilayered sense of metaphor and meter and a page-turning sense of urgency. “A Southern Gothic masterpiece,” said reviewers at Paste Magazine. 

The Miracle of Mercy Land, a novel set in 1938 along the Gulf waters of Alabama, and has been painted as ‘A triumph of beauty,”

River Jordan’s first work of narrative non-fiction, Praying for Strangers, An Adventure of the Human Spirit, arrived to critical acclaim in April of 2011 and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. It has continued touching hearts around the globe with its honest, storytelling style of the strangers we meet along life’s everyday highway and how we perceive them.

Ms. Jordan is currently at work on a new Southern Gothic novel, The City of Truth and a work of creative-nonfiction, The Story of the Labyrinth. 

When not traveling the back roads of America, River lives with her husband Owen Hicks, and their Great Pyrennees lap dog, Titan in Nashville, Tennessee. She thinks about where stories come from – places and people and moods of the heart while rocking on her front porch. And long after the sun sets over the ridge, she waits for the moon to rise, watches the stars come out, and stares off into the blue-night sky believing with all her might.

Q&A with River Jordan

On starting as a playwright, the influence of newspaper, and the power of story

An interview by WordLily

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6 Responses

  1. Ruthann Tacher says:

    I am also reading Prayers for Strangers. I love your perspective through the book. I would love to be at that Party for ALL the peoples, and to meet the every person behind all the stories. I find myself feeling like we could be good friends- you and I. I will pray for YOU today, River.

    • River Jordan says:

      Ruthann, ah yes, – all the peoples. THANK YOU for those prayers (and a general – for those I love :) ) We do so need it. Just come to Nashville for The Southern Festival of the Book. I”ll be hanging out for days!

  2. Ginny ORoak says:

    Lordy, just as I thought all the real writers except BK had gone to glory, I discovered The Messenger of Magnolia Street. With four more to read!

    Any e-book availability?

    • River Jordan says:

      Ginny, What part of the world do you live in? It’s always nice to know where readers are. In the company with BK – so honored! And I love Messenger I cannot lie. Thank you so much for dropping me a note. Readers all have their favorites and each book has it’s own special club of fans but there are people who faithfully read Messenger once a year. I must confess – when I first received my hardback copy from publisher I stood in the living room at my house and turned to the first page and began reading. Three chapters later I might have sat down. I love that place, those people, and loved writing it! E-book – I am so sorry I do not but I do have a little book of essays I published for a special book club event – The Deep, Down, Dirty South – A Southern Girl Recollects, that I am toying with making an ebook of by year’s end. Keep checking back for info. Also working on a new novel that I hope you will love when it’s between the covers – The City of Truth.

      Blessings today!