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Mississippi Books and Writers

January 2001

Note: Prices listed below reflect the publisher's suggested list price. They are subject to change without notice.

Blood Lure Blood Lure

A novel by Nevada Barr

Putnam (Hardcover, $24.95, ISBN: 0399147020)

Publication date: January 2001

Description from Publishers Weekly:

The latest entry in this excellent series featuring National Park Service ranger Anna Pigeon is one of Barr’s best. Anna has been assigned to work temporarily in Montana’s Glacier National Park, where she seems more at home than in her recent forays to East Coast parks, and learns how to do DNA studies on wildlife by working with a biologist, Joan, on a study of grizzly bears. Anna, Joan and a young, inexperienced volunteer, Rory, are sent out into the park’s wilderness areas to set lures for the grizzlies. They use a powerful and nasty-smelling concoction, mixed with cow’s blood, that the grizzlies find irresistible. Once the bears rub up against the trees or barbed wire that have been coated with the lure, samples of their DNA can be collected from the hair and skin left behind. In their remote campsite one night, Anna and Joan amazingly survive a grizzly bear attack on their tents unscathed, only to find that Rory has gone missing. As park rangers and rescue teams hike the mountainous park looking for the missing teenager, they find instead the dead body of a woman whose face has been horribly mutilated. Rory is an obvious suspect, as is the bear who attacked the camp. Barr focuses on the wilderness park and its endangered population of grizzlies rather than on Anna’s personal life and problems, and this makes for a tightly plotted, satisfying read. The author’s masterful descriptions of the natural world immeasurably enhance an exciting, suspenseful story that is sure to flirt with bestseller lists. Mystery Guild main selection and Literary Guild alternate selection. Copyright © 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

By Mildred D. Taylor

Phyllis Fogelman Books (Hardcover, $17.99, ISBN: 0803726473)

Publication date: January 2001 (25th anniversary edition)

Description:

In all Mildred D. Taylor’s unforgettable novels she recounts “not only the joy of growing up in a large and supportive family, but my own feelings of being faced with segregation and bigotry.” Her Newbery Medal-winning Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry tells the story of one African American family, fighting to stay together and strong in the face of brutal racist attacks, illness, poverty, and betrayal in the Deep South of the 1930s. Nine-year-old Cassie Logan, growing up protected by her loving family, has never had reason to suspect that any white person could consider her inferior or wish her harm. But during the course of one devastating year when her community begins to be ripped apart by angry night riders threatening African Americans, she and her three brothers come to understand why the land they own means so much to their Papa. “Look out there, Cassie girl. All that belongs to you. You ain’t never had to live on nobody’s place but your own and long as I live and the family survives, you’ll never have to. That’s important. You may not understand that now but one day you will. Then you’ll see.”

Twenty-five years after it was first published, this special anniversary edition of the classic strikes as deep and powerful a note as ever. Taylor’s vivid portrayal of ugly racism and the poignancy of Cassie’s bewilderment and gradual toughening against social injustice and the men and women who perpetuate it, will remain with readers forever. Two award-winning sequels, Let the Circle Be Unbroken and The Road to Memphis, and a long-awaited prequel, The Land, continue the profoundly moving tale of the Logan family. (Ages 9 and older) —Emilie Coulter

The South and the Caribbean: Essays and Commentaries The South and the Caribbean: Essays and Commentaries

Edited by Douglass Sullivan-González and Charles Reagan Wilson

University Press of Mississippi (Hardcover; $35.00; ISBN: 1578063124)

Publication date: January 2001

Description from the publisher:

The first comprehensive study of the close ties between the American South and the Caribbean.

With the trade of sugar, rum, and African slaves in the islands that form a perimeter around the Gulf of Mexico, the broad expanse of water known as the Caribbean ringed what came to be known as the South.

Today concise political boundaries separate the coasts of the American South from the multicultural worlds that dominate the islands. Yet all anecdotal evidence suggests far greater ties. One listens to the reggae in the streets of New Orleans or to the rumba in Atlanta. One notes the moans of the blues in the cafes of Veracruz and watches Major League games in which young Dominican athletes hurling lightning-fast balls become national heroes on their island homeland beset by political and economic woes.

Do these human links suggest a greater regionalism than was previously acknowledged? This exciting study of two discrete yet kindred areas gives an affirmative answer. It comes to terms with what many have considered distinct yet fluctuating boundaries that separate and bond southern peoples.

These papers from the Chancellor’s Symposium at the University of Mississippi in 1998 focus on and examine the strong connections. Geographer Bonham C. Richardson analyzes the territory as a cultural region “with Little Rock at the northwest corner and French Guiana at the southeast that also includes the eastern rim of Central America as well as the Bahamas.” Other contributors explore the creative cultures that emerged when a brutal European economy enslaved Africans for labor. The essays also examine the economic connections that have created such dissimilar and lasting legacies as the plantation system and the love of baseball.

The South and the Caribbean flow into each other culturally, economically, and socially. These papers and their commentaries suggest that future study of these regions must deal with them together in order to understand each. The merging of the two through music, dance, language, sports, and political aspiration—all discussed in this book—serves to give birth to a New South and a New Caribbean.

At the University of Mississippi, Douglass Sullivan-González is an associate professor of history and Charles Reagan Wilson is the director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture.



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