Acclaimed author Alice Walker tells why she loves B.B. King, why the Reverend Martin Luther King should be alive today, and why the earth is her guiding grace. Then award-winning writers Lee Smith and Hal Crowther journey into the apocalyptic mind of Reverend McKendree Robbins Long; a former fireworks runner tells all; and Uncle Dave Macon declares war on cars.
"Maybe firecrackers don't mean anything but a hell of a good time."
"I love B. B. because he loves women. They can be mean, they can be bitchy, they can be carrying on, but you can tell he really loves them. He's full of love. I would like to be the literary B.B. King."
"'I need a monkey driving a car, one hen laying eggs, two cuckoos, a fairy with a flower, one climbing panda, one cock crowing at dawn, and whatever we've got in the way of a Jupiter's fire or a thunder blast or a big bear.'"
"We often had dates for the revival, since there wasn't anything else to do in that town, or anyplace else to go, and that oftentimes your date would be holding your hand while you both got all wrought up together. So there was a sexual thing going on there, too."
"My mother used to call it GETTING ALL WROUGHT UP and viewed it as a kind of sickness, like the flu."
"I'm with the British writer Zadie Smith, who writes, 'The Book of Revelation is the last stop on the nutso express.'"
"I am myself a history / Flanked always by A.D., B.C."
"'Lord, Lord, you ought to take a ride, get in a Ford with a donnie by your side.'"
"I was only seventeen, a girl / who still could trust a suit and smile."
"'Yessir, pretty fine shootin', especially as it appears these birds were flying upside down.'"
Public Affairs, 2002
Louisiana State University Press, 2001
University Press of Florida, 2003
University of North Carolina Press, 2002
Belknap Press, 2002; Princeton University Press, 2002