Ghost trains, lost women, and strong drink—plus, the politics of music, mourning, and the modern South. The Summer 2014 issue looks at public and private stories of love and betrayal, of honoring the dead, of coal camp memories and family histories finally written.
"One of the challenges—and, simultaneously, deep pleasures—of studying the South is that the disciplinary walls of the academy neither contain nor constrain the work."
"Her name was never to be spoken. Even upon the lips and within the hearts of her own children, remembrance was forbidden. Silence nearly erased her from history."
"When train number nine on the Western North Carolina Railroad tumbled off Bostian's Bridge in 1891, it ignited a media frenzy, as well as a firestorm of outrage, a detailed investigation, a compelling mystery, and a series of unanswered questions."
"When the unlimited energy of adolescence comes to bear on the limited experience of childhood, the results often swing toward one of the poles - an enthusiastic confirmation of the culture a child grew into or a bold rejection of the culture they grew out of."
"'Feet commenced to pat. A moment later there was dancing on the sidewalks below. Hands went into the air, bodies swayed like the reeds on the bands of the Congo.'"
"Some devout Baptists complained that there was too much booze in a mini bottle for one drink; the rest of us complained that there wasn't enough."
"At mid-century, the South had no Republican senators and only two Republicans in the 105-person southern House delegation. By 2000 [both] delegations were majority Republican."
"Maggie's neighbor-women saw a young woman just like themselves, with no children to feed, trying to build a life, and so they helped her, unquestioning in recognition that she would help them in return. This was so."
"Joe cackled fiendishly, addressing Vernon through the closed lid. 'Who's got the last laugh now, big boy?'"
"...flavored of tin from the lip of the cup of a dented thermos passed between us—"
Berkley Books, 2013
Harvard University Press, 2010
University of South Carolina Press, 2012