Synopses & Reviews
For more than thirty years, Foxfire books have brought the philosophy of simple living to hundreds of thousands of readers, teaching creative-self-sufficiency, the art of natural remedies, home crafts, and preserving the stories and customs of Appalachia. Inspiring and practical, this classic series has become an American institution.
Foxfire 12 is the latest volume, the first in more than five years. Here are reminiscences about learning to square dance and tales about traditional craftsmen who created useful items in the old-time ways that have since disappeared in most of the country. Here are lessons on how to make rose beads and wooden coffins, and on how to find turtles in your local pond. We hear the voices of descendants of the Cherokees who lived in the region, and we learn about what summer camp was like for generations of youngsters. We meet a rich assortment of Appalachian characters and listen to veterans recount their war experiences. Illustrated with photographs and drawings, Foxfire 12 is a rich trove of information and stories from a fascinating American culture.
"The first new volume in five years for this popular series has the familiar charm and, unfortunately, repetitiveness of the earlier 11. First published in 1966 as a quarterly magazine, Foxfire was a classroom project to pass on to future generations the Appalachian culture of northwest Georgia. Teachers Collins and Creek, with their students, have brought together a mixture of personal stories, folktales, rituals and observations that highlight a way of life that is quickly vanishing. Some of the memories recounted by elderly residents are quite engaging, while others are less so. Fred Huff, who taught school for 46 years and was Teacher of the Year several times, colorfully conveys the joy he took in his chosen profession and makes the modest claim that 'I got more awards than I deserved.' Eighty-one-year-old Fannie Ruth Martin stoically details a childhood full of poverty and hardship, yet then asserts, '[K]ids today have too much!' Devotees of Appalachian folkways will relish descriptive passages on square dancing, pottery and the way to construct a simple wooden casket. There is an informative chapter about Cherokee stories and some very interesting accounts by people who attended three different summer camps in the area. Photos. (Sept. 14)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)