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Blog posts tagged with 'alabama'

In Memoriam: Harper Lee & Umberto Eco
The world lost two great authors on February 19, both of whose works evoked the spirit of place, even when the places were fictional, from Harper Lee’s small town in Alabama to Umberto Eco’s complex imagined world of Milan. “The town is not a real town. The characters aren’t drawn from living or dead people. The book is a record of the general spirit of something,” Harper Lee said in a rare interview in 1961. “This was life in the 30s. This is the way it was with children in the South.” Maycomb, Alabama, where Lee’s classic is set, may be fictional, but
Deep South
“Only in America can you travel in confidence without a destination,” writes Paul Theroux, one of America's most notable travel writers, as he begins Deep South, his first project on his own country. By auto, Theroux takes a trip in each season to the states of the Deep South, preferring rural areas to large metropolises and striking up innumerable conversations with Southern folks: reformers, shop owners, small town mayors, gospel-preaching motorcyclists, veterans, even (by accident) the widow of BB King. What emerges is not just a vivid portrait of the South today, but a reminder of its dark history. “As was so often the case," writes Theroux, "driving up a country road in the South was driving into the shadowy past.
South Toward Home
“The South is not just the setting;” Alabama-born Margaret Eby writes in her new book South Toward Home, “it’s the soul of the thing.” Her conclusion comes at the finish of a winding road trip through the Deep South (Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia), literary sites dotting her map. Eby describes her pilgrimage—and the act of reading Southern literature in general—as an “ongoing cartographic exercise, to trace and retrace the boundaries of the South, to try to figure out what it contains. It’s about figuring out just where exactly you are. It’s about going home.” The first home Eby visits is