Cover image for A World unsuspected : portraits of Southern childhood
Title:
A World unsuspected : portraits of Southern childhood
Author:
Harris, Alex, 1949-
Publication Information:
Chapel Hill : Published for the Center for Documentary Photography, Duke University, by the University of North Carolina Press, [1987]

©1987
Physical Description:
xx, 237 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780807817483
Format :
Book

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PS261 .W67 1987 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Childhood is particularly tantalizing to recall because it is made up of incidents that are vivid without being fully understood. The 12 authors of these reminiscences have used family portraits and snapshots to prompt recollections of their childhoods in the South. All of the selections merit interest, but there is a particularly sharp edge to Bobbie Ann Mason's fond account of her teenage presidency of a rock 'n' roll fan club. Equally affecting is poet Dave Smith's account of the ``tiny, mean, shale-spirited people'' of his father's family, the irresistible prettiness of his mother, and the moment when his name was called aloud in a small-town movie theater because his parents had died in a car crash. Among the other well-known authors included here are Robb Forman Dew, Barry Hannah, and Josephine Humphries. More than a regional collection, this volume features excellent writing throughout and should prompt the genuine interest of general readers. PM. 813'.54 Novelists, American Southern States Biography Youth / Novelists, American 20th century Biography Youth / Children Southern States / Southern States Social life and customs 1865- / Photography, Documentary Southern States / Southern States Biography [CIP] 87-5085


Library Journal Review

The influential formative years of a Southern childhood and adolescence in a segregated society provide the background for contrasting books which aim at understanding this experience. In Separate Pasts , McLaurin relates his adolescent years in rural North Carolina during the 1950s. His account reflects his growing awareness of race and racism. His frankness and honest reflection about his adolescence reveal a great deal about Southern society. And as a historian he provides the reader with a harsh appraisal of a segregated South. From a different perspective comes A World Unsuspected , 11 original essays by some of the region's promising writers, e.g., Barry Hannah, Al Young, and Bobbie Ann Mason. Each author used family photographs to prompt narratives representing their varied pasts. The 11 include blacks and whites and men and women. The childlike reminiscences of several of the writers offer a marked contrast to McLaurin's recollection. While both volumes are recommended for larger academic and public libraries, McLaurin's has considerable candor. Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., Ala. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.