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South Toward Home: Travels in Southern…

South Toward Home: Travels in Southern Literature (2015)

by Margaret Eby

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Jackson, Mississippi and Eudora Welty
Richard Wright.
Flannery O'Conner
Harry Crew
Harper Lee and Truman Capote
John Kennedy Toole
Larry Brown
Barry Hannah
There are a few of these authors whose books I never read. This book definitely made me want to read them, so I will be reading from the reading list the author kindly provided in the back of the book. Looking forward to this task. This gives such a wonderful insight into their novels, their lives and how the testaments of many of them have lived on. Quite some characters they all were, some admired each other, others didn't care for the some of them and found their books to be cop outs. Used their own small spaces of earth to write about things that they questioned or just brought to life their own small corner of space.

Harry Crew is not celebrated at all in his town, where he has a cousin who still lives. Nothing was preserved and the people don't like to talk about his books. He ins one of the authors I have never read and I found interesting what was revealed in this book about his non fiction offering [book:A Childhood: The Biography of a Place|24849] and his character as well.

A delightful read, revealing to me a different and fresh way of looking at these wonderful authors. She brought New Orleans, Bourbon street to life to life, following the path of the Confederacy of Dunces. Interesting to see how their legacies live on and how they are now perceived by readers.

ARC from publisher. ( )
  Beamis12 | Jul 7, 2015 |
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For Tom, Mary, Brendan, and Connor,
my first and best traveling companions
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The South is vast.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393241114, Hardcover)

A literary travelogue into the heart of classic Southern literature.

What is it about the South that has inspired so much of America's greatest literature? And why, when we think of Flannery O'Connor or William Faulkner or Harper Lee, do we think of them not just as writers, but as Southern writers? In South Toward Home, Margaret Eby―herself a Southerner―travels through the South in search of answers to these questions, visiting the hometowns and stomping grounds of some of our most beloved authors. From Mississippi (William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Richard Wright) to Alabama (Harper Lee, Truman Capote) to Georgia (Flannery O'Connor, Harry Crews) and beyond, Eby looks deeply at the places that these authors lived in and wrote about. South Toward Home reveals how these authors took the people and places they knew best and transmuted them into lasting literature.

Side by side with Eby, we meet the man who feeds the peacocks at Andalusia, the Georgia farm where Flannery O'Connor wrote her most powerful stories; we peek into William Faulkner's liquor cabinet to better understand the man who claimed civilization began with distillation and the "postage stamp of native soil" that inspired him; and we go in search of one of New Orleans's iconic hot dog vendors, a job held by Ignatius J. Reilly in John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces. From the library that showed Richard Wright that there was a way out to the courtroom at the heart of To Kill a Mockingbird, Eby grapples with a land fraught with history and mythology, for, as Eudora Welty wrote, "One place understood helps us understand all places better."

Combining biographical detail with expert criticism, Eby delivers a rich and evocative tribute to the literary South.


(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 07 Jul 2015 12:17:37 -0400)

"A literary travelogue that ventures deep into the heart of classic Southern literature. As the writer Elif Batuman did for Russian literature in The Possessed, Margaret Eby does for Southern literature in this charming book of literary exploration. From Mississippi (William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Richard Wright, Barry Hannah) to Alabama (Harper Lee, Truman Capote) to Georgia (Flannery O'Connor, Harry Crews) and beyond, Eby--herself a Southerner--travels through the Deep South to the places that famous Southern authors lived in and wrote about. South Toward Home reveals how they took these places and the lives of their inhabitants and transmuted them into lasting literature. Whether meeting the man in charge of feeding Flannery O'Connor's peacocks in Milledgeville, peering into Faulkner's liquor cabinet, or seeking out John Kennedy Toole's iconic hot dog vendors in New Orleans, Eby combines biographical detail with expert criticism to deliver a rich and evocative tribute to the literary South" --… (more)

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