Wednesday, May 16, 2012

All Over But the Shoutin'

School is almost out.  In fact, as they say in the South, it's all over but the shouting'.  All that is left to do is the end of the year stuff and semester exams.

By the way, if you've never read the book by Rick Bragg's, All Over But the Shoutin',then I highly suggest you read it.

This haunting, harrowing, gloriously moving recollection of a life on the American margin is the story of Rick Bragg, who grew up dirt-poor in northeastern Alabama, seemingly destined for either the cotton mills or the penitentiary, and instead became a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times. It is the story of Bragg's father, a hard-drinking man with a murderous temper and the habit of running out on the people who needed him most.

But at the center of this soaring memoir is Bragg's mother, who went eighteen years without a new dress so that her sons could have school clothes and picked other people's cotton so that her children wouldn't have to live on welfare alone. Evoking these lives--and the country that shaped and nourished them--with artistry, honesty, and compassion, Rick Bragg brings home the love and suffering that lie at the heart of every family. The result is unforgettable.

One reason Rick Bragg won a Pulitzer Prize for his feature articles at the New York Times is that he never forgets his roots. When he writes about death and violence in urban slums, Bragg draws on firsthand knowledge of how poverty deforms lives and on his personal belief in the dignity of poor people. His memoir of a hardscrabble Southern youth pays moving tribute to his indomitable mother and struggles to forgive his drunken father. All Over but the Shoutin' is beautifully achieved on both these counts--and many more.


fan of casey said...

Joe: Almost over, and you can soon start summer vacation. Boy, this guy in the photo is really white, like a tall glass of cold milk. Can I dunk my "cookie" into him?

silvereagle said...

As with the prior poster, I am "taken" by the selected photo today....How do you stand in front of a class with young men, some of whom must be as cute as this young male, and keep your mind on your class presentation!!! :-) :-)

And, thanks for the book recommendation...will get a copy when I return to the statew!!