This issue of The Journal reads geologically: something is always happening but its effect is perceptible only with the distance of narrative. A tornado, referred to “in code” by one family, is revisited decades later in “Finding Oz,” The Journal’s William Allen Creative Nonfiction Prize Winner. Connie Vaughn rediscovers affections for her father she had long since dispelled: “If our differences are the centrifugal forces that have sent us flying apart throughout our lives, the tornado might be a form of centripetal action bringing us back together.” That thesis-sounding sentence – and the tidy structure – are more essay-ish than creative nonfiction, but it’s a damn good story regardless.
The patience The Journal provides its writers – and readers – gives it a traditional sense of authority, one that endures.
—Robert Duffer, reviewer for NewPages.com Literary Magazine Reviews, January 7, 2008.