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288 pp., 8 x 9.5, 46 halftones, bibl., index

ISBN  978-1-4696-0754-2
Published: August 2013

The Storied South

Voices of Writers and Artists

By William Ferris

Includes a CD of original interviews and a DVD of original film

Awards & Distinctions

A 2013 Okra Pick: Great Southern Books Fresh Off the Vine, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance

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.

About 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.


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

"[A] rich collection developed over 40 years. . . . [A] moving and eloquent book."
--Publishers Weekly

"Compiles decades' worth of deeply personal interviews with many of the South's greatest luminaries. . . . . And thanks to an included CD and DVD, their voices leap off the page and come to life."
--Garden and Gun

"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

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

"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

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