The Cracker Queen: A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life

The Cracker Queen: A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life

by Lauretta Hannon


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Cracker Queen

The anti-Southern belle. A strong, authentic woman with a raucous sense of humor who holds her head, and her cigarette, up high. She knows loss and hurt; these things have made her beautiful, resourceful, and, above all, real.

Bad Choices Make Great Stories.

NPR's "All Things Considered" commentator Lauretta Hannon grew up in backwater Warner Robins. Her mama and daddy had a deep and disorderly love with years of booze, infidelities, and nervous breakdowns, and the stories of her deeply dysfunctional family include chain gangs, guns, ghost hunting, moonshine stands, scooterpootin,' the famous Goat Man of Georgia, and Crazy Aunt Carrie, who shot her first four husbands and went after the last one with a butcher knife. The early years of hardship and hard living all gave Hannon the resilience and humor that are now the hallmarks of her Cracker Queen way of life. Full of warmth, outrageous wit, and world-class storytelling, The Cracker Queen marks the debut of a powerfully original Southern voice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592405312
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/06/2010
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 385,292
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Lauretta Hannon is a commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered and Georgia Public Radio’s Georgia Gazette, and has contributed to numerous newspapers. Winner of more than two hundred awards in marketing and promotions, she is the marketing director at Atlanta Technical College.

Table of Contents

Introduction … Everything You Need to Know I Learned Inside a Singlewide 1

Part 1 Comin' Up the Hard Way

The Indian Princess 7

Jazz Daddy 9

Four Roses 13

Bad Blood 17

War Town 20

Mama and the Chain Gang 24

Discord 26

Underwater Grace 31

Skateland 34

Goat Power 40

Breakdown 42

Strawberry Dress 48

Wrongsville 54

Blue-Light Terror 59

Crazy Aunt Carrie 67

Blue Christians 70

Ridin' High and Shirtless 74

300 Minutes 80

Fortune Presents Gifts Not According to the Book 84

Part 2 God Save the Queen (from Herself)

The Tree That Owns Itself 93

Winged Skeletons 96

Wez-lee-an 101

Gutters and Stars 103

Way South of Normal 105

It's Vacuous at the Top 112

You Put a Root on Me 116

Pinkie's Is Closed on Sundays! 123

Miss Vassie Thompson Has a Spare Room for an Elderly Person 129

Cordell 134

Bad Day at Work 137

Scooterpootin' 144

We Mean You No Harm 155

Artifice 165

Part 3 The way of the Cracker Queen

The Regal Essentials 177

The Royal Necessities 188

Adjust That Crown, Your Horns Are Showing 193

Majestic Distinctions 200

What Becomes a Cracker Queen Most 214

Acknowledgments 223

What People are Saying About This

Lee Smith

I raced through this book—horrified, laughing out loud, and weeping by turns. I say, let's throw out all the self-help and inspirational books in the country, and put up The Cracker Queen displays instead! Hannon really made me think, and I'm going to whup some ass, too. (Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls and On Agate Hill)

Rosemary Daniell

Watch out, Paula Deen and Jill Conner Browne! Chock full of unforgettable lines, The Cracker Queen delights again and again as the intrepid Hannon turns her hardscrabble beginnings into a major laugh fest that will leave her readers wanting more. Indeed, they will fall in love – as I did – with Hannon's wit and gutsy take on, well, everything. (Rosemary Daniell, author of Secrets of the Zona Rosa and Fatal Flowers)

Terry Kay

The heart, soul, and muscle of The Cracker Queen are in the often poignant, often shocking (but always engaging) pieces of Hannon's experiences. But there is more to it than that: there's also the promise of a remarkably gifted writer, one who understands that she is a medium for her environment, and, for readers, that is cause for great celebration. (Terry Kay, author of To Dance with the White Dog and The Book of Marie)

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The Cracker Queen: A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Emotional from cover to cover, from tears to laughing fits!
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ReaderSusan More than 1 year ago
A bookmark never touched the pages of my copy of The Cracker Queen. Hooked from the moment I picked it up, Lauretta Hannon, enthralls and mesmerizes with her great sense of humor and carefully crafted words. She answers the question of, "What will I do with my pain?" and inspires us to follow her on a journey of rising above the damage and hurt life inevitably brings. She proves that living life out loud with lots of laughter can carry you through just about anything. Like the author wrote, "You, however, do not have to be toothless to enjoy this book. Just Human." Cracker Queen or not, The Regal Essentials the author shares throughout her touching book of love, forgiveness, gratitude, and purpose will benefit all of us in surprising ways, if we let them. Long live the Queen!
HollowellTheForgottenRoom More than 1 year ago
I literally held my breath during some scenes in this memoir involving guns, knives, and mean back streets. But I also laughed out loud at the skate-a-thon, overeager grilling, and hostage guitar. The vivid moments of Lauretta Hannon's hardscrabble childhood and activist young adulthood make for spellbinding reading, and I devoured the book as fast as I could. Lauretta Hannon comes to the rescue, repeatedly. She prevents stabbings, assists prisoners, finds homes for the mentally ill, and confronts pit-bull breeders bent on dog fighting. The Cracker Queen is really a mantra about living life to the fullest with courage, joy, and great compassion. Call me a convert.
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MinnesotaReader More than 1 year ago
In Lauretta Hannon's exceptionally well-written memoir, she shares her bittersweet story of growing up destitute amid familial chaos in backcountry Georgia. Despite parental drunken fights, her mother's mental collapse, and a life of hardship, Ms. Hannon perseveres and innately realizes that how she lives her life is a choice. As her eccentric life unfolds, she chooses to respond to life's challenges and obstacles with love, gratitude and a big dose of humor. In the course of time. she forms and elaborates upon her list of 'core values'. Ms. Hannon brilliantly tells her story in a delightfully folksy style that thoroughly captivated me from page 1. I really, truly loved this wonderfully engaging book for the homespun humor and uplifting wisdom it expresses and therefore, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!!
Honey603 More than 1 year ago
Just finished this book. A touching story peppered with laughs. I cried,laughed and cheered. Sometime all at once. I was familiar with Ms. Hannon's tales on National Public Radio but never suspected the story behind them. Shows us that women are Amazing creatures, strong and tough. We can overcome most anything and The Cracker Queen does. Love it, give us more!