Where I Come From: Stories from the Deep South

Knopf. Nov. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9780593317785. $26.95. LIT
A Pulitzer Prize–winning author of eight books, including Ava’s Man and All Over but the Shoutin’, Southern Living columnist Bragg here offers a collection of 73 previously published vignettes and stories featuring “the South’s gentler, easier nature.” Most of the pieces center on Clay County, AL, but Bragg ventures out and about when writing about food, especially Gulf Coast po’boys and family-owned diners in New Orleans. Bragg is a self-described “crotchety relic,” who shows his softer side in recollections of relatives, friends, meals, and holidays. Memories of time spent with Pat Conroy (Prince of Tides) and a brief encounter with novelist Harper Lee are also featured. Hair permanents that are temporary, wealthy people and their ghosts, cranberry sauce stuck in a can, and, of course, the Southern biscuit, all are examined with humor; however, the problems of driving through, in, and around Atlanta are realistic in their portrayal.
VERDICT A notable volume from a widely appreciated author recommended for all humor, journalism, and Southern literature collections.
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