Carolina Wren Press author Jeanne Leiby dies

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Jeanne Leiby, 1964-2011
  • Jeanne Leiby, 1964-2011
Some slightly belated and very sad news coming across the desk here: Jeanne M. Leiby, who was the Editor of the Southern Review (out of Louisiana State University) and whose debut collection of short stories, Downriver, was published by Carolina Wren Press in 2007, died last month in a single-car accident on Interstate 10 near Baton Rouge. Driving a convertible with the top down, and apparently not wearing a seat belt, she lost control of the car and hit a guardrail, throwing her from the car. She was 46 years old.

Leiby was much beloved in the literary community. (Here is an in memoriam page, which paints a picture of a fierce and honest firebrand.) Before taking over the Southern Review, she edited the Florida Review at the University of Central Florida.

The Independent's review of Leiby's strong debut collection concluded, "Some of the pieces in Downriver [...] feel like sketches for a novel, one that would shine a hard, bright light on a coal-dark place. Here's hoping she writes it." It's with regret that we have to report she'll never have the chance.

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