Last month I learned of the death of Jeanne Leiby, editor of The Southern Review and author of Downriver, which we published in 2007. Downriver had been selected by Quinn Dalton as the winner of the first Doris Bakwin Award for Writing by a Woman for its well-crafted style. This award, named in honor of my aunt Doris, a feisty but loving native Tennessean who married into our wannabe-WASPish Yankee family in the 1970s and became, by the 1990s, its matriarch. Jeanne was the perfect choice for this award, and very similar to Doris in manner and habit. Like Doris, she made her way into a previously conservative domain, and made it her own. Like Doris, she could tell a good story. Like Doris, she loved to stay up late, a drink tinkling in her hand, her voice rusty with talk.
In the month following Jeanne’s death, there has been a proliferation of tributes and memorial essays. I wanted create a space to “digest” them but since blog entries sort of disappear from view under new posts, I have turned her book’s page into a site for links about her–reviews, memorials, whatever I can find. I welcome you to send me links to add, or to use the comments section to let everyone know about them.
When Jeanne came to Durham in October 2007, she sat for an interview with Ruth Eckles, then an administrative assistant at Carolina Wren Press, but also a wonderful writer. The transcript of that interview was never published, but you can listen to portions of through YouTube. Here’s a link to that interview’s video playlist .