Other books byWillie Morris
My Dog Skip
Now a major motion picture form Warner Brothers, starring Kevin Bacon, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson, Frankie Muniz, and "Eddie" from the TV show Frasier (as Skip), and produced by Mark Johnson (Rain Man). In 1943 in a sleepy town on the banks of the Yazoo River, a boy fell in love with a puppy with a lively gait and an intellingent way of listening. The two grew up together having the most wonderful adventures. A classic story of a boy, a dog, and small-town America, My Dog Skip belongs on the same shelf as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Russell Baker's Growing Up. It will enchant readers of all ages for years to come.
The Courting of Marcus Dupree
At the time of Marcus Dupree's birth, when Deep South racism was about to crest and shatter against the Civil Rights Movement, Willie Morris journeyed north in a circular transit peculiar to southern writers. His memoir of those years,North Toward Home, became a modern classic. InThe Courting of Marcus Dupreehe turned again home to Mississippi to write about the small town of Philadelphia and its favorite son, a black high-school quarterback. In Marcus Dupree, Morris found a living emblem of that baroque strain in the American character called "southern." Beginning on the summer practice fields, Morris follows Marcus Dupree through each game of his senior varsity year. He talks with the Dupree family, the college recruiters, the coach and the school principal, some of the teachers and townspeople, and, of course, with the young man himself. As the season progresses and the seventeen-year-old Dupree attracts a degree of national attention to Philadelphia neither known nor endured since "the Troubles" of the early sixties, these conversations take on a wider significance. Willie Morris has created more than a spectator's journal. He writes here of his repatriation to a land and a people who have recovered something that fear and misdirected loyalties had once eclipsed. The result is a fascinating, unusual, and even topical work that tells a story richer than its apparent subject, for it brings the whole of the eighties South, with all its distinctive resonances, to life.
Stories from Home
Brimming with his rich humor, Jerry Clower's book manifests the unsurpassed southern art of yarn spinning. It shows as well the nature of the man for whom good storytelling is more than just show business. Nashville's funniest man had a serious side. Deep in the merry heart of this comic entertainer were the codes and values that made him an esteemed humanitarian. He was named America's best country comic for nine years in a row and was called "the funniest American storyteller since Will Rogers" and "the Mouth of the Mighty Mississippi." This boisterous, down-home man's loving, extroverted manner and his forthright display of positive feelings for others arose from the substance of sober, rock-solid regional values he gained from maturing in the rural South.Stories from Homeembraces both Jerry Clowers, the funny man and the serious man, and shows his anecdotal humor in the mainstream of the South's great oral tradition of folktales and narratives. Jerry Clower's hilarious stories about possum hunting, coon dogs, and the rambunctious Ledbetter clan were standards in his stage routines, videos, and albums. InStories from Homemany of his fans' favorite Clower tales are included. Here, too, is a long interview in which he explored his beliefs and tells how he gained firm convictions about race, religion, education, and family as well as an intolerance of negativism.
The final work from one of America's most beloved authors and an instant classic, TAPS takes readers on one last fictional journey to Willie Morris's South and spins a tender, powerful, very American story about the vanishing beauty of a charmed way of life and the fleeting boyhood of a young man coming of age in a time of war. In Fisk’s Landing, Mississippi, at the dawn of the Korean War, sixteen-year-old Swayze Barksdale is suddenly called to an unexpected duty - playing "Taps" at the gravesides of the town’s young casualties sent home from the front. Gradually, Swayze begins to pace his life around these all too frequent funerals, where his horn sounds the tragic note of the times. At turns funny, at turns poignant, TAPS abounds with colorful characters and yet "sings and sighs . . . with a kind of minor key wistfulness" (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) as Swayze learns what it means to be a patriot, a son, a lover, a friend, a man.