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Ava's Manby Rick Bragg
Synopses & Reviews
The Pulitzer Prize?winning author of All Over but the Shoutin? continues his personal history of the Deep South with an evocation of his mother?s childhood in the Appalachian foothills during the Great Depression, and the magnificent story of the man who raised her.
Charlie Bundrum was a roofer, a carpenter, a whiskey-maker, a fisherman who knew every inch of the Coosa River, made boats out of car hoods and knew how to pack a wound with brown sugar to stop the blood. He could not read, but he asked his wife, Ava, to read him the paper every day so he would not be ignorant. He was a man who took giant steps in rundown boots, a true hero whom history would otherwise have overlooked.
In the decade of the Great Depression, Charlie moved his family twenty-one times, keeping seven children one step ahead of the poverty and starvation that threatened them from every side. He worked at the steel mill when the steel was rolling, or for a side of bacon or a bushel of peaches when it wasn?t. He paid the doctor who delivered his fourth daughter, Margaret — Bragg?s mother — with a jar of whiskey. He understood the finer points of the law as it applied to poor people and drinking men; he was a banjo player and a buck dancer who worked off fines when life got a little sideways, and he sang when he was drunk, where other men fought or cussed. He had a talent for living.
His children revered him. When he died, cars lined the blacktop for more than a mile.
Rick Bragg has built a soaring monument to the grandfather he never knew?a father who stood by his family in hard times and left a backwoods legend behind?in a book that blazes with his love for his family, and for a particular stretch of dirt road along the Alabama-Georgia border. A powerfully intimate piece of American history as it was experienced by the working people of the Deep South, a glorious record of a life of character, tenacity and indomitable joy and an unforgettable tribute to a vanishing culture, Ava?s Man is Rick Bragg at his stunning best.
?Rick Bragg has written a powerful and poignant book about his kin, the kind of people we hear about too seldom...At the end I shared Rick?s pride and awe of what his family had endured.? Tom Brokaw
No one writes about the South like Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Bragg (All Over But the Shoutin). Once again, he lends his voice to the working people of the deep South, and tells the story of a memorable figure in a singular time-a man on a lost stretch of dirt road along the Alabama-Georgia border. The Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist and
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author of All Over But the Shoutin' continues his personal history of the Deep South with an evocation of his mother's childhood in the Appalachian foothills during the Great Depression and the inspiring story of the man who raised her. 200,000 first printing.
With the same emotional generosity and effortlessly compelling storytelling that made All Over But the Shoutin' a national bestseller, Rick Bragg continues his personal history of theDeep South. This time he's writing about his grandfather Charlie Bundrum, a man who died before Bragg was born but left an indelible imprint on the people who loved him. Drawing on their memories, Braggreconstructs the life of an unlettered roofer who kept food on his family's table through the worst of the Great Depression; a moonshiner who drank exactly one pint for every gallon he sold; an unregeneratebrawler, who could sit for hours with a baby in the crook of his arm.
In telling Charlie's story, Bragg conjures up the backwoods hamlets of Georgia and Alabama in the years when the roadswere still dirt and real men never cussed in front of ladies. A masterly family chronicle and a human portrait so vivid you can smell the cornbread and whiskey, Ava's Man isunforgettable.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Rick Bragg is the best-selling author of All Over but the Shoutin’ and Somebody Told Me. A national correspondent for the New York Times, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 1996. He lives in New Orleans.
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