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Ava's Man

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Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

In his memoir All Over but the Shoutin', Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rick Bragg paid loving tribute to his mother and his dirt-poor upbringing in Alabama. Encouraged by readers who begged for more information about his mother — where did she get her golden heart and spine of steel? — Bragg asked his aunts and mother about his grandfather, Charlie Bundrum. Rarely had they spoken of him, and when queried, they would cry or leave the room. Inspired, he writes, "What kind of man was this, I wondered, who is so beloved, so missed, that the mere mention of his death would make them cry 42 years after he was preached into the sky? A man like that, I thought to myself, probably deserves a book." So Bragg wrote Ava's Man, a reconstruction of his grandfather who died a year before Bragg was born. Finding the concrete in the myth, listening to the tales of people he never knew or barely remembers, Bragg grants Bundrum the legacy he believes his grandfather would have wanted — "a legacy with some pepper on it." Bragg's molasses-smooth and whip-smart way with words seduces in the tradition of great Southern storytelling as he tells the story of a larger-than-life man — a back woods legend who played the banjo, made his own whiskey, and kept his family one step away from starvation during the great depression. Only two photos were ever taken of Bundrum, including the one that graces the cover of the book, but within the pages, Bragg has fully fleshed out the man and recreated the hardened beauty of life in the foothills of the Appalachians at the beginning of last century. Bragg recounts with sly humor the two preachers who spoke at Charlie's funeral: "They praised him as a fine father, which was the gospel, unbending truth, and as a fine husband, which was true mostly and anyway it was a funeral." Ava's Man is a proud eulogy to a much loved man. Georgie, Powells.com

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

?A lovely book, with a certain gritty grandeur...This is a worthy successor to All Over but the Shoutin?.? Larry McMurtry

Review:

?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

Review:

"Bragg delivers, with deep affection, fierce familial pride, and keen, vivid prose that's as sharp and bone-bright as a butcher knife." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"In creating an indelible portrait of his grandfather, Bragg also brings alive a particular time and place, showing us just how much we've lost even as we've made 'progress.'" Booklist

Review:

"No one writes about the South like Bragg. He reminds readers that the fabled agrarians weren't the only Southerners, as he refuses to whitewash the bootleggers, violence, and poverty of the Depression-era rural South. Bragg's empathy and humanity shine throughout." Library Journal

Synopsis:

The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of All Over but the Shoutin continues his personal history of the Deep South with an evocation of his mothers 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 wasnt. He paid the doctor who delivered his fourth daughter, MargaretBraggs motherwith 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 knewa father who stood by his family in hard times and left a backwoods legend behindin 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, Avas Man is Rick Bragg at his stunning best.

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.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375410628
Author:
Bragg, Rick
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
Social life and customs
Subject:
Biography
Subject:
Regional Subjects - South
Subject:
Depressions
Subject:
Family/Interpersonal Memoir
Subject:
United States - 20th Century/Depression
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Southern states
Subject:
Southern States Social life and customs.
Subject:
General Biography
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20010821
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9.52x6.48x1.08 in. 1.26 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
History and Social Science » Americana » Southern States
History and Social Science » Journalism » Journalists

Ava's Man Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780375410628 Reviews:
"Review" by , ?A lovely book, with a certain gritty grandeur...This is a worthy successor to All Over but the Shoutin?.?
"Review" by , ?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.?
"Review" by , "Bragg delivers, with deep affection, fierce familial pride, and keen, vivid prose that's as sharp and bone-bright as a butcher knife."
"Review" by , "In creating an indelible portrait of his grandfather, Bragg also brings alive a particular time and place, showing us just how much we've lost even as we've made 'progress.'"
"Review" by , "No one writes about the South like Bragg. He reminds readers that the fabled agrarians weren't the only Southerners, as he refuses to whitewash the bootleggers, violence, and poverty of the Depression-era rural South. Bragg's empathy and humanity shine throughout."
"Synopsis" by , The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of All Over but the Shoutin continues his personal history of the Deep South with an evocation of his mothers 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 wasnt. He paid the doctor who delivered his fourth daughter, MargaretBraggs motherwith 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 knewa father who stood by his family in hard times and left a backwoods legend behindin 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, Avas Man is Rick Bragg at his stunning best.

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