The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists

The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists

5.0 1
by William Ferris
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The Storied South features the voices--by turn searching and honest, coy and scathing--of twenty-six of the most luminous artists and thinkers in the American cultural firmament, from Eudora Welty, Pete Seeger, and Alice Walker to William Eggleston, Bobby Rush, and C. Vann Woodward. Masterfully drawn from one-on-one interviews conducted by renowned folklorist…  See more details below

Overview

The Storied South features the voices--by turn searching and honest, coy and scathing--of twenty-six of the most luminous artists and thinkers in the American cultural firmament, from Eudora Welty, Pete Seeger, and Alice Walker to William Eggleston, Bobby Rush, and C. Vann Woodward. Masterfully drawn from one-on-one interviews conducted by renowned folklorist William Ferris over the past forty years, the book reveals how storytelling is viscerally tied to southern identity and how the work of these southern or southern-inspired creators has shaped the way Americans think and talk about the South.
The Storied South offers a unique, intimate opportunity to sit at the table with these men and women and learn how they worked and how they perceived their art. The volume also features 45 of Ferris's striking photographic portraits of the speakers and a CD and a DVD of original audio and films of the interviews.

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
An immensely important book that is passionate and keenly insightful and that is a crucial addition to the growing body of work on the South.--The Journal of Southern History

A capstone of this historian's career. . . . Ferris has created a thoroughly upbeat portrait of regional culture.--Oral History Review

[A] comprehensive collection of accounts by these foundational southern artists. . . . Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers.--Choice

[A] wonderful work. Required for viewers and readers interested in Southern folkways and culture.--Library Journal starred review

Not to be missed. . . . This collection is a triumph of intelligent and provocative conversation.--Jackson Clarion-Ledger

[A] treat for lovers of Southern literature.--Wilmington Star News

The Storied South is a book you could read on and on and on.--Flycatcher

The book is a one-of-a-kind trove.--Visual Communication Quarterly

Ferris offers a collection of his interviews with writers and artists he has come to know personally during 40 years of tramping around his native land.--Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ferris' idea of an essential South, layered by a narrative sensibility in music, literature and the visual arts, sings to the better angels of our nature. . . . Yet reading this remarkable book one realizes, too, that a brooding, unsettled nature about the South is still sadly with us.--New Orleans Magazine

Intimate and moving. . . . Undoubtedly a volume that should be included in the personal library of every Southerner or lover of the Southern storytelling tradition. When the final page of The Storied South is turned, readers will truly feel like they have been sitting on the front porch listening to the voices and stories of these legendary Southern icons.--Click Magazine

In addition to being a book that preserves and represents the voices that form the intellectual foundation of southern studies, The Storied South is filled with warmth, humor, and fond memories.--Arkansas Review

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

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781469607542
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
08/05/2013
Edition description:
1
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
732,286
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 9.50(h) x (d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
What a tremendous work! This wonderful book should grace every southerner's library, remembering that every southerner is not in the South.--Morgan Freeman

In this volume William Ferris has gathered a richly varied selection of voices displaying the range of the many-storied South. Intimate, humorous, thoughtful, these writers, artists, and scholars show us the profound impact of place--a geography both literal and figurative--on the south land of the imagination. As a poet I know I will turn to these pages again and again to remind myself what it is we do, and how we come to do it.--Natasha Trethewey, United States Poet Laureate (2012-2013)

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

Read More

Meet the Author

William Ferris is Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History and senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ferris is author of Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues, among other books, and coeditor of the award-winning Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >