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"A collection of wide-ranging and endearingly personal columns by the celebrated author, newspaper columnist, and Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Bragg, culled from his best-loved pieces in Southern Living and Garden & Gun. From his love of Tupperware ('My Affair with Tupperware') to the decline of country music, from the legacy of Harper Lee to the metamorphosis of the pick-up truck, the best way to kill fire ants, the unbridled excess of Fat Tuesday, and why any self-respecting Southern man worth his salt should carry a good knife ... [this] is an ode to the stories and the history of the deep south, written with tenderness, wit, and deep affection"--
Book The Best Cook in the World Description/Summary:
A New York Times bestseller Part cookbook, part memoir, The Best Cook in the World is Pulitzer Prize-winner Rick Bragg's loving tribute to the South, his family and, especially, to his extraordinary mother. Here are irresistible stories and recipes from across generations. They come, skillet by skillet, from Bragg's ancestors, from feasts and near famine, from funerals and celebrations, and from a thousand tales of family lore as rich and as sumptuous as the dishes they inspired. Deeply personal and unfailingly mouthwatering, The Best Cook in the World is a book to be savored.
One of the most acclaimed travel writers of our time turns his unflinching eye on an American South too often overlooked Paul Theroux has spent fifty years crossing the globe, adventuring in the exotic, seeking the rich history and folklore of the far away. Now, for the first time, in his tenth travel book, Theroux explores a piece of America -- the Deep South. He finds there a paradoxical place, full of incomparable music, unparalleled cuisine, and yet also some of the nation's worst schools, housing, and unemployment rates. It's these parts of the South, so often ignored, that have caught Theroux's keen traveler's eye. On road trips spanning four seasons, wending along rural highways, Theroux visits gun shows and small-town churches, laborers in Arkansas, and parts of Mississippi where they still call the farm up the road "the plantation." He talks to mayors and social workers, writers and reverends, the working poor and farming families -- the unsung heroes of the south, the people who, despite it all, never left, and also those who returned home to rebuild a place they could never live without. From the writer whose "great mission has always been to transport us beyond that reading chair, to challenge himself -- and thus, to challenge us" (Boston Globe), Deep South is an ode to a region, vivid and haunting, full of life and loss alike.
These beautifully crafted stories depict the changing relationships between black and white southerners, the impact of the civil rights movement, and the emergence of the New South. Mary Ward Brown is a storyteller in the tradition of such powerful 20th-century writers as William Faulkner, Harper Lee, Flannery O'Connor, and Eudora Welty-writers who have explored and dramatized the tension between the inherited social structure of the South and its contemporary dissolution. With Tongues of Flame, her first collection of short stories, Brown bares the awkward, sometimes hopeful, and often tragic suffering of people caught in changing times within a timeless setting. Here we meet such memorable characters as a dying black woman who seeks the advice of a now-alcoholic white doctor whom she knew in better years; a young woman, jilted at the altar, driven crazy by an illuminated cross erected by the church opposite her house; and a 95-year-old woman buying a tombstone for her long-deceased husband only to discover that he had been adulterous throughout their marriage. Brown constructs her characters in a disarmingly plain style while breathing life into them with compassion and honesty as they confront the large moments of their lives. First published by E. P. Dutton in 1986 to immediate critical acclaim, Tongues of Flame won the 1987 PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award. The judges commended Brown for "seeing life whole, without prejudice, without sentimentality, without histrionics. Her voice may be quiet-sometimes she speaks in a whisper-but her words are, nevertheless, always forceful, clear, and ultimately lasting." With this new publication of Tongues of Flame and its inclusion in the University of Alabama Press's Deep South Books series, a whole new generation of readers may once more discover Mary Ward Brown's profound stories of pain, loss, and hope.
Book The Deepest South of All Description/Summary:
Bestselling travel writer Richard Grant “sensitively probes the complex and troubled history of the oldest city on the Mississippi River through the eyes of a cast of eccentric and unexpected characters” (Newsweek). Natchez, Mississippi, once had more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in America, and its wealth was built on slavery and cotton. Today it has the greatest concentration of antebellum mansions in the South, and a culture full of unexpected contradictions. Prominent white families dress up in hoopskirts and Confederate uniforms for ritual celebrations of the Old South, yet Natchez is also progressive enough to elect a gay black man for mayor with 91% of the vote. Much as John Berendt did for Savannah in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and the hit podcast S-Town did for Woodstock, Alabama, so Richard Grant does for Natchez in The Deepest South of All. With humor and insight, he depicts a strange, eccentric town with an unforgettable cast of characters. There’s Buzz Harper, a six-food-five gay antique dealer famous for swanning around in a mink coat with a uniformed manservant and a very short German bodybuilder. There’s Ginger Hyland, “The Lioness,” who owns 500 antique eyewash cups and decorates 168 Christmas trees with her jewelry collection. And there’s Nellie Jackson, a Cadillac-driving brothel madam who became an FBI informant about the KKK before being burned alive by one of her customers. Interwoven through these stories is the more somber and largely forgotten account of Abd al Rahman Ibrahima, a West African prince who was enslaved in Natchez and became a cause célèbre in the 1820s, eventually gaining his freedom and returning to Africa. With an “easygoing manner” (Geoff Dyer, National Book Critics Circle Award–winning author of Otherwise Known as the Human Condition), this book offers a gripping portrait of a complex American place, as it struggles to break free from the past and confront the legacy of slavery.
Book Natalie Portman's Fables Description/Summary:
Academy Award-winning actress, director, producer, and activist Natalie Portman retells three classic fables and imbues them with wit and wisdom. From realizing that there is no “right” way to live to respecting our planet and learning what really makes someone a winner, the messages at the heart of Natalie Portman’s Fables are modern takes on timeless life lessons. Told with a playful, kid-friendly voice and perfectly paired with Janna Mattia’s charming artwork, Portman’s insightful retellings of The Tortoise and the Hare, The Three Little Pigs, and Country Mouse and City Mouse are ideal for reading aloud and are sure to become beloved additions to family libraries. An instant New York Times bestseller!
Book All Over but the Shoutin' Description/Summary:
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year This haunting, harrowing, gloriously moving recollection of a life on the American margin is the story of Rick Bragg, who grew up dirt-poor in northeastern Alabama, seemingly destined for either the cotton mills or the penitentiary, and instead became a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times. It is the story of Bragg's father, a hard-drinking man with a murderous temper and the habit of running out on the people who needed him most. But at the center of this soaring memoir is Bragg's mother, who went eighteen years without a new dress so that her sons could have school clothes and picked other people's cotton so that her children wouldn't have to live on welfare alone. Evoking these lives--and the country that shaped and nourished them--with artistry, honesty, and compassion, Rick Bragg brings home the love and suffering that lie at the heart of every family. The result is unforgettable.
"All but one of the stories are set in Alabama. They deal with dramatic turning points in the lives of people who happen to be southerners, many juxtaposed between Old South sensibility and manners and New South modernity and expectations. Among these characters is a new widow uncomforted by well-meaning, proselytizing Christians; a middle-aged waitress in love with the town "catch"; a bedridden belle dependent upon her black nurse; a "special" young man in a newspaper shop; a young faculty wife who attempts generosity with a lower-class neighbor; and a lawyer caught in the dilemma of race issues."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
A Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and author of The Prince of Frogtown evokes the hardscrabble lives of those who lived and died by a single surviving American cotton mill by offering the searing true stories of those who worked in the Jacksonville, Alabama establishment. Reprint.
From celebrated New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Rick Bragg, comes a poignant and wryly funny collection of essays on life in the south. Keenly observed and written with his insightful and deadpan sense of humor, he explores enduring Southern truths about home, place, spirit, table, and the regions' varied geographies, including his native Alabama, Cajun country, and the Gulf Coast. Everything is explored, from regional obsessions from college football and fishing, to mayonnaise and spoonbread, to the simple beauty of a fish on the hook. Collected from over a decade of his writing, with many never-before-published essays written specifically for this edition, My Southern Journey is an entertaining and engaging read, especially for Southerners (or feel Southern at heart) and anyone who appreciates great writing.
Newspapers, the Civil War, love, barbecue . . . Nothing escapes Hodges's twisted sense of southern culture in his outrageous novel B-Four. Beauregard Forrest has been a faithful son to his wealthy and quirky father, joining him in Civil War reenactments and morning coffee, and an uncomplaining second fiddle to his brother Jackson, an ex-Crimson Tide football player. To please his father, Beauregard works as a cub reporter at the Birmingham Standard-Dispatch, a job his father hopes will raise Beauregard's college entrance test scores and gain him admittance to prestigious and gentrified Washington and Lee University. Far from honing his skills and sharpening his wit, however, Beauregard's assignments at the Standard-Dispatch--Pet of the Week and obituaries--promise to bury him in Section B, Page 4, hence his nickname. Beauregard's road to Page 1 is filled with more potholes than an Alabama back road. Assigned to cover a speech by a British cleric, the young reporter believes he may have escaped journalistic limbo, only to discover the entire sermon delivered in Latin. When he files his story partly in Latin, he finds himself once again covering breaking news at the Humane Society. Hoping to woo his love interest, Lorena, and wow his fellow reporters with a sizzling front-page scoop, B-Four investigates an anti-Atlanta campaign organized by the Birmingham Boosters. The hilarity that ensues launches him on the road to self-discovery.
Former New York Times correspondent John N. Herbers (1923-2017), who covered the civil rights movement for more than a decade, has produced Deep South Dispatch: Memoir of a Civil Rights Journalist, a compelling story of national and historical significance. Born in the South during a time of entrenched racial segregation, Herbers witnessed a succession of landmark civil rights uprisings that rocked the country, the world, and his own conscience. Herbers's retrospective is a timely and critical illumination on America's current racial dilemmas and ongoing quest for justice. Herbers's reporting began in 1951, when he covered the brutal execution of Willie McGee, a black man convicted for the rape of a white housewife, and the 1955 trial for the murder of Emmett Till, a black teenager killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. With immediacy and first-hand detail, Herbers describes the assassination of John F. Kennedy; the death of four black girls in the Birmingham, Alabama, church bombing; extensive travels and interviews with Martin Luther King Jr.; Ku Klux Klan cross-burning rallies and private meetings; the Freedom Summer murders in Philadelphia, Mississippi; and marches and riots in St. Augustine, Florida, and Selma, Alabama, that led to passage of national civil rights legislation. This account is also a personal journey as Herbers witnessed the movement with the conflicted eyes of a man dedicated to his southern heritage but who also rejected the prescribed laws and mores of a prejudiced society. His story provides a complex understanding of how the southern status quo, in which the white establishment benefited at the expense of African Americans, was transformed by a national outcry for justice.
Slave Country tells the tragic story of the expansion of slavery in the new United States. In the wake of the American Revolution, slavery gradually disappeared from the northern states and the importation of captive Africans was prohibited. Yet, at the same time, the country's slave population grew, new plantation crops appeared, and several new slave states joined the Union. Adam Rothman explores how slavery flourished in a new nation dedicated to the principle of equality among free men, and reveals the enormous consequences of U.S. expansion into the region that became the Deep South. Rothman maps the combination of transatlantic capitalism and American nationalism that provoked a massive forced migration of slaves into Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. He tells the fascinating story of collaboration and conflict among the diverse European, African, and indigenous peoples who inhabited the Deep South during the Jeffersonian era, and who turned the region into the most dynamic slave system of the Atlantic world. Paying close attention to dramatic episodes of resistance, rebellion, and war, Rothman exposes the terrible violence that haunted the Jeffersonian vision of republican expansion across the American continent. Slave Country combines political, economic, military, and social history in an elegant narrative that illuminates the perilous relation between freedom and slavery in the early United States. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in an honest look at America's troubled past.
Book The Union League Movement in the Deep South Description/Summary:
Led by a coalition of blacks and whites with funding from congressional radicals, the Union League was a secret society whose express purpose was to bring freedmen into the political arena after the Civil War. Angry and resentful of the lingering vestiges of the plantation system, freedmen responded to the League’s appeals with alacrity, and hundreds of thousands joined local chapters, speaking and acting collectively to undermine the residual trappings of slavery in plantation society. League actions nurtured instability in the work force, which eventually compelled white planters to relinquish direct control over blacks, encouraging the evolution from gang labor to decentralized tenancy in the southern agricultural system as well as the emergence of the Ku Klux Klan. In this impressive work—the first full-scale study of the effect the Union League had on the politicization of black freedmen—Michael W. Fitzgerald explores the League’s influence in Alabama and Mississippi and offers a fresh and original treatment of an important and heretofore largely misunderstood aspect of Reconstruction history.
Book Goodbye to the Buttermilk Sky Description/Summary:
A beautifully narrated novel of time and place, Goodbye to the Buttermilk Sky re-creates a southern summer when the depression and the boll weevil turned hopes to dust. With the extraordinary talent to make the reader see the Ball canning jars on the kitchen table, hear the clicks on the party line, and feel the bittersweet moments of 20-year-old Callie Tatum's first experiences with adult desire, Oliver portrays a young wife's increasingly dangerous infidelity with cinematic precision and palpable suspense.
P>Birmingham's history of racial violence and bigotry is the centerpiece of this intense and affecting memoir about family, society, and politics in a city still haunted by its notorious past. In 1963, Birmingham was the scene of some of the worst racial violence of the civil rights era. Police commissioner "Bull" Connor loosed dogs and turned fire hoses on black demonstrators; four young girls at Sunday school were killed when a bomb exploded in a black church; and Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote his famous letter from the Birmingham jail, defending his activism to fellow ministers. Birmingham native Paul Hemphill, disillusioned with his hometown, had left home to pursue a journalistic career, so he witnessed these historic events with the rest of the world through newspaper and television reports. "That grim old steel town," he writes, "was the most blatantly segregated city of its size in the United States of America, and most of us regarded it with the same morbid fascination that causes us to slow down and gawk at a bloody wreck on the highway." Thirty years later, Hemphill returned to Birmingham to explore the depths of change that had taken place in the decades since the violence. In this powerful memoir, he interweaves his own autobiography with the history of the city and the stories of two very different Birmingham residents: a wealthy white matron and the pastor of the city's largest black church. As he struggles to come to terms with his own conflicting feelings toward his father's attitudes, Hemphill finds ironic justice in the integration of his childhood neighborhood and a visit with the black family who moved into his family's former home.
Vivian Howard, star of PBS's A Chef's Life, celebrates the flavors of North Carolina's coastal plain in more than 200 recipes and stories. This new classic of American country cooking proves that the food of Deep Run, North Carolina -- Vivian's home -- is as rich as any culinary tradition in the world. Organized by ingredient with dishes suited to every skill level, from beginners to confident cooks, Deep Run Roots features time-honored simple preparations alongside extraordinary meals from her acclaimed restaurant Chef and the Farmer. Home cooks will find photographs for every single recipe. Ten years ago, Vivian opened Chef and the Farmer and put the nearby town of Kinston on the culinary map. But in a town paralyzed by recession, she couldn't hop on every new culinary trend. Instead, she focused on rural development: If you grew it, she'd buy it. Inundated by local sweet potatoes, blueberries, shrimp, pork, and beans, Vivian learned to cook the way generations of Southerners before her had, relying on resourcefulness, creativity, and the traditional ways of preserving food. Deep Run Roots is the result of years of effort to discover the riches of Eastern North Carolina. Like The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, The Art of Simple Food, and The Taste of Country Cooking before it, this is landmark work of American food writing. Recipes include: Family favorites like Blueberry BBQ Chicken Creamed Collard-Stuffed Potatoes Fried Yams with Five-Spice Maple Bacon Candy Chicken and Rice Country-Style Pork Ribs in Red Curry-Braised Watermelon Show-stopping desserts like Warm Banana Pudding, Peaches and Cream Cake, Spreadable Cheesecake, and Pecan-Chewy Pie. You'll also find 200 more quick breakfasts, weeknight dinners, holiday centerpieces, seasonal preserves, and traditional preparations for all kinds of cooks.