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The Remembered Gate: Memoirs by Alabama Writers (Deep South Books)by Jay Lamar
Synopses & Reviews
This collection of reflective essays–all exploring themes of artistic self-discovery and regional awareness–showcases 19 nationally known writers who have roots in Alabama.In The Remembered Gate, nationally prominent fiction writers, essayists, and poets recall how their formative years in Alabama shaped them as people and as writers. The essays range in tone from the pained and sorrowful to the wistful and playful, in class from the privileged to the poverty-stricken, in geography from the rural to the urban, and in time from the first years of the 20th century to the height of the Civil Rights era and beyond.
In all the essays we see how the individual artists came to understand something central about themselves and their art from a changing Alabama landscape. Whether from the perspective of C. Eric Lincoln, beaten for his presumption as a young black man asking for pay for his labors, or of Judith Hillman Paterson, floundering in her unresolved relationship with her troubled family, these personal renderings are intensely realized visions of a writer's sense of being a writer and a human being. Robert Inman tells of exploring his grandmother's attic, and how the artifacts he found there fired his literary imagination. William Cobb profiles the lasting influence of the town bully, the diabolical Cletus Hickey. And in "Growing up in Alabama: A Meal in Four Courses, Beginning with Dessert," Charles Gaines chronicles his upbringing through the metaphor of southern cooking.
What emerges overall is a complex, richly textured portrait of men and women struggling with, and within, Alabama's economic and cultural evolution to become major voices of our time.
This collection of reflective essays–all exploring themes of artistic self-discovery and regional awareness–showcases 19 nationally known writers who have roots in Alabama.
About the Author
Jay Lamar is Associate Director of the Center for the Arts and Humanities at Auburn University and coeditor of the anthology Reading Our Lives.
Jeanie Thompson is Executive Director of the Alabama Writers' Forum, a partnership of the Alabama State Council on the Arts in Montgomery, and author of four collections of poetry, including White for Harvest: New and Selected Poems.
Table of Contents
Coming through the fire / C. Eric Lincoln — What do you do for the place? / Patricia Foster — The truth the heart knows / Fannie Flagg — Swing low: a memoir / Mary Ward Brown — The humanistic Black heritage of Alabama / James Haskins — Growing up a poet in Alabama / Andrew Glaze — Stalking an early life / Helen Norris — Learning to swim / Wayne Greenhaw — The other sun of God / Nanci Kincaid — The ghosts in my grandmother's attic / Robert Inman — Alabama breakdown / Andrew Hudgins — The first place / Phyllis Alesia Perry — A half mile of road in north Alabama / Rodney Jones — When the Opry was in Ryman and we still believed in God / William Cobb — The heart of Dixie / Frye Gaillard — Thunderhoof and the mantel clock / Sena Jeter Naslund — Growing up in Alabama: a meal in four courses, beginning with dessert / Charles Gaines — Coming home / Judith Hillman Paterson — Epilogue: regional particulars and universal implications / Albert Murray — Afterword / Mark Kennedy.
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