Poor Man's Provence: Finding Myself in Cajun Louisiana

Poor Man's Provence: Finding Myself in Cajun Louisiana

by Rheta Grimsley Johnson
     
 

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For over a decade, syndicated columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson has been spending several months a year in Southwest Louisiana, deep in the heart of Cajun Country. Unlike many other writers who have parachuted into the swampy paradise for a few days or weeks, Rheta fell in love with the place, bought a second home and set in planting doomed azaleas and deep roots. She…  See more details below

Overview

For over a decade, syndicated columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson has been spending several months a year in Southwest Louisiana, deep in the heart of Cajun Country. Unlike many other writers who have parachuted into the swampy paradise for a few days or weeks, Rheta fell in love with the place, bought a second home and set in planting doomed azaleas and deep roots. She has found an assortment of beautiful people in a homely little town called Henderson, right on the edge of the Atchafalaya Swamp. Poor Man's Provence is both personal odyssey and good reporting, travelogue and memoir, funny and frank, as the author shares what keeps her coming home to French Louisiana.

Editorial Reviews

Judith McKibbin
Poor Man's Provence is a refreshing study of all things Cajun, or at least all things Cajun that can be observed and absorbed by a fascinated reporter of Southern life. Given Johnson's easy raconteur's style, it will have readers stopping to read aloud.
Greg Langley
The difference between Johnson and other nomads is that she has the keen perspective and fine writing skills to bring her insights to the page. She’s not just a rolling stone either. She still has her place in Henderson and still lives there part of the time. Her abiding love of the people and place shine through in her writing. Louisiana’s bruised image could use more healing like Johnson’s book provides.
Herman Fuselier
True to her unblinking commentaries, Johnson sees the area and its people with an eye that penetrates deeper the usual newcomer.
John Branston
The columnist is also a knight, bound by a code of honor to treat both subjects and readers fairly and honestly, to travel any distance in all kinds of weather to meet them on their own turf, to avoid cliches and well-worn paths, to meet all deadlines, and to do it year after year for 20 years. Pretty amazing.
Scott Jordan
Award-winning writer Rheta Grimsley Johnson has traveled and covered the south for more than three decades and was a 1991 Pulitzer Prize finalist for commentary — but it was an assignment to cover boar hunting in Louisiana that truly changed her life. Johnson fell in love with local culture and bought a second home in Henderson, intent on fully experiencing Acadiana traditions and rhythms. She chronicles that quest in Poor Man’s Provence: Finding Myself in Cajun Louisiana.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781603060592
Publisher:
NewSouth, Incorporated
Publication date:
08/04/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
300,376
File size:
691 KB

Meet the Author

Rheta Grimsley Johnson has covered the South for over three decades as a newspaper reporter and columnist. She writes about ordinary but fascinating people, mining for universal meaning in individual stories. In past reporting for United Press International, The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and a number of other regional newspapers, Johnson has won national awards. They include the Ernie Pyle Memorial Award for human interest reporting (1983), the Headliner Award for commentary (1985), the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ Distinguished Writing Award for commentary (1982). In 1986 she was inducted into the Scripps Howard Newspapers Editorial Hall of Fame. In 1991 Johnson was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Syndicated today by King Features of New York, Johnson’s column appears in about 50 papers nationwide. She is the author of several books, including America’s Faces (1987) and Good Grief: The Story of Charles M. Schulz (1989). In 2000 she wrote the text for a book of photographs entitled Georgia. A native of Colquitt, Ga., Johnson grew up in Montgomery, Ala., studied journalism at Auburn University and has lived and worked in the South all of her career. She was married to the late journalism professor Don Grierson.

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