The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists

The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists

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by William Ferris

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Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this rich collection, developed over 40 years, UNC-Chapel Hill historian Ferris (Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues) sits down with 26 writers, scholars, musicians, painters, and photographers—including Eudora Welty, Alice Walker, Cleanth Brooks, C. Vann Woodward, Pete Seeger, Walker Evans, Rebecca Davenport, William Christenberry, and George Wardlaw—and records their tales and recollections of the power of story in their lives. On the sense of place so important to Southern culture and writing, Welty observes: “It is more of an internal map than a map of a geographical place. It is a map of minds and imagination.” Walker believes, too, that “the region is the heart and the mind, not the section.” Acclaimed historian Woodward reflects on the power of storytelling in the writing of history: “Southern history has to be written with what skill the writer can muster, or it will not be readable.” The great blues musician Bobby Rush suggests that story provides the common ground on which two disparate professions stand: “The bluesman tells a story, and the preacher tells a story… I think the preacher and the bluesman are very, very much hand in hand.” This moving and eloquent book comes with a CD and DVD of Ferris’s interviews with these storytellers, as well as Ferris’s photos of each artist. 46 halftones, CD, DVD. Agent: Emma Patterson, Brandt & Hochman. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
The Storied South bring[s] these tales to life. . . . With Ferris as a guide, readers will get a revealing look at the region before air-conditioning and chain businesses, smartphones and corporate monoliths changed it forever.—Raleigh News & Observer

Library Journal
Historian Ferris (former chair, National Endowment for the Humanities; history, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues) depicts the storytelling culture of the American South as one in which a sacred love of reading and writing was instilled early in the lives of children, many of whom grew up to become some of American's most celebrated artists. Here, he documents interviews with 26 noted Southern writers, photographers, painters, musicians, and scholars, including Eudora Welty, Alice Walker, Robert Penn Warren, Ernest Gaines, Alex Haley, B.B. King, and Pete Seeger. Collected over the last 40 years, the interviews reveal the inspired lives of these artists and how their creativity was broadened by dabbling into other disciplines such as photography and painting. The accompanying DVD features presentations by and interviews with several artists to add another layer of insight to Ferris's already wonderful work. VERDICT Required for viewers and readers interested in Southern folkways and culture.—Joyce Sparrow, Kenneth City, FL

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The University of North Carolina Press
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8.00(w) x 9.50(h) x (d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
William Ferris has long reigned as the unimpeachable source of the entire southern experience. His work on southern folklore and the composition of the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture have made him both legendary and necessary. His book, The Storied South, is a love song to the South Bill helped illuminate. It's a crowning achievement of his own storied career.—Pat Conroy

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