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Dispatches from Pluto

Dispatches from Pluto

Author: Richard Grant
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476709653
Pages: 320
Year: 2015-10-13
Winner of the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Mississippi's #1 Bestseller of 2015 and 2016 (The Clarion-Ledger) A New York Times Bestseller In Dispatches from Pluto, adventure writer Richard Grant takes on “the most American place on Earth”—the enigmatic, beautiful, often derided Mississippi Delta. Richard Grant and his girlfriend were living in a shoebox apartment in New York City when they decided on a whim to buy an old plantation house in the Mississippi Delta. Dispatches from Pluto is their journey of discovery into this strange and wonderful American place. Imagine A Year In Provence with alligators and assassins, or Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil with hunting scenes and swamp-to-table dining. On a remote, isolated strip of land, three miles beyond the tiny community of Pluto, Richard and his girlfriend, Mariah, embark on a new life. They learn to hunt, grow their own food, and fend off alligators, snakes, and varmints galore. They befriend an array of unforgettable local characters—blues legend T-Model Ford, cookbook maven Martha Foose, catfish farmers, eccentric millionaires, and the actor Morgan Freeman. Grant brings an adept, empathetic eye to the fascinating people he meets, capturing the rich, extraordinary culture of the Delta, while tracking its utterly bizarre and criminal extremes. Reporting from all angles as only an outsider can, Grant also delves deeply into the Delta’s lingering racial tensions. He finds that de facto segregation continues. Yet even as he observes major structural problems, he encounters many close, loving, and interdependent relationships between black and white families—and good reasons for hope. Dispatches from Pluto is a book as unique as the Delta itself. It’s lively, entertaining, and funny, containing a travel writer’s flair for in-depth reporting alongside insightful reflections on poverty, community, and race. It’s also a love story, as the nomadic Grant learns to settle down. He falls not just for his girlfriend but for the beguiling place they now call home. Mississippi, Grant concludes, is the best-kept secret in America.
Rising Tide

Rising Tide

Author: John M. Barry
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416563326
Pages: 528
Year: 2007-09-17
An American epic of science, politics, race, honor, high society, and the Mississippi River, Rising Tide tells the riveting and nearly forgotten story of the greatest natural disaster this country has ever known -- the Mississippi flood of 1927. The river inundated the homes of nearly one million people, helped elect Huey Long governor and made Herbert Hoover president, drove hundreds of thousands of blacks north, and transformed American society and politics forever. A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award and the Lillian Smith Award.
High Cotton

High Cotton

Author: Gerard Helferich
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
ISBN: 1496815742
Pages: 336
Year: 2017-10-05
This dirt-under-the-fingernails portrait of a small-time farmer follows Zack Killebrew over a single year as he struggles to defend his cotton against such timeless adversaries as weeds, insects, and drought, as well as such twenty-first-century threats as globalization. Over the course of the season, Helferich describes how this singular crop has stamped American history and culture like no other. Then, as Killebrew prepares to harvest his cotton, two hurricanes named Katrina and Rita devastate the Gulf Coast and barrel inland. Killebrew's tale is at once a glimpse into our nation's past, a rich commentary on our present, and a plain-sighted vision of the future of farming in the Mississippi Delta. On first publication, High Cotton won the Authors Award from the Mississippi Library Association. This updated edition includes a new afterword, which resumes the story of Zack Killebrew and his family, discusses how cotton farming has continued to change, and shows how the Delta has retained its elemental character.
Crazy River

Crazy River

Author: Richard Grant
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439157642
Pages: 352
Year: 2011-10-25
NO ONE TRAVELS QUITE LIKE RICHARD GRANT and, really, no one should. In his last book, the adventure classic God’s Middle Finger, he narrowly escaped death in Mexico’s lawless Sierra Madre. Now, Grant has plunged with his trademark recklessness, wit, and curiosity into East Africa. Setting out to make the first descent of an unexplored river in Tanzania, he gets waylaid in Zanzibar by thieves, whores, and a charismatic former golf pro before crossing the Indian Ocean in a rickety cargo boat. And then the real adventure begins. Known to local tribes as “the river of bad spirits,” the Malagarasi River is a daunting adversary even with a heavily armed Tanzanian crew as travel companions. Dodging bullets, hippos, and crocodiles, Grant finally emerges in war-torn Burundi, where he befriends some ethnic street gangsters and trails a notorious man-eating crocodile known as Gustave. He concludes his journey by interviewing the dictatorial president of Rwanda and visiting the true source of the Nile. Gripping, illuminating, sometimes harrowing, often hilarious, Crazy River is a brilliantly rendered account of a modern-day exploration of Africa, and the unraveling of Grant’s peeled, battered mind as he tries to take it all in.
Delta Deep Down

Delta Deep Down

Author: Jane Rule Burdine, Wendy McDaris
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
ISBN: 1604730897
Pages: 108
Year: 2008
The Mississippi Delta evokes mystery, beauty, and hardship in equal measures. Its haunted fields, turbulent history, and resilient people have fueled countless songs, tales, and literary works. Its presence resonates strongly in the construction of the American South. In Delta Deep Down, photographer Jane Rule Burdine captures the region with clarity and warmth. Since the early 1970s, Burdine has used the Delta as her muse, traversing and documenting the ever-changing landscape in color photographs. These powerful images reflect how the Delta and its citizens have responded to each other, and how each has in turn been changed. Weatherbeaten shacks, cotton and soybean fields, industrial equipment, people at work and play, and cloud-draped, endless horizons are all seen through Burdine's lens. The Delta's past and present mingle in every photograph of the inhabitants - black and white, young and old, rich and poor - in moments of contemplation, labor, and revelry. Novelist and Indianola native Steve Yarbrough offers a touching, personal introduction that explores how Burdine's photographs reveal the place he once called home, and how, through her photographs, the hold this fertile ground claims on his heart is reinforced. Delta Deep Down offers an unforgettable portrait of a quintessential Mississippi place and the people who abide in it.
American Nomads

American Nomads

Author: Richard Grant
Publisher: Grove Press
ISBN: 0802141803
Pages: 311
Year: 2005-01
In a richly textured travelogue, a British journalist recounts his fifteen-year odyssey throughout the United States, examining the myths and realities of the wandering life as he recalls his encounters with America's nomads and traces the history of wanderers--cowboys, explorers, frontiersmen, trappers, and Native American warriors--in the New World. Reprint.
Driving Hungry

Driving Hungry

Author: Layne Mosler
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0345802683
Pages: 320
Year: 2015-07-14
Adrift in Buenos Aires, Layne Mosler was hungry—for an excellent (and cheap) meal, for a great story, for a new direction. A chance recommendation from a taxi driver helped her find all these things, and sparked a quest that would take her to three cities, meeting people from all walks of life, and finding an array of unexpected flavors. A story about following your passion, the pleasures of not always knowing your destination, and the beauty of chance encounters, Driving Hungry is a vivid, and inspiring, read from first to last.
Eat Drink Delta

Eat Drink Delta

Author: Susan Puckett
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820344931
Pages: 296
Year: 2013-01-01
The Mississippi Delta is a complicated and fascinating place. Part travel guide, part cookbook, and part photo essay, Eat Drink Delta by veteran food journalist Susan Puckett (with photographs by Delta resident Langdon Clay) reveals a region shaped by slavery, civil rights, amazing wealth, abject deprivation, the Civil War, a flood of biblical proportions, and—above all—an overarching urge to get down and party with a full table and an open bar. There's more to Delta dining than southern standards. Puckett uncovers the stories behind convenience stores where dill pickles marinate in Kool-Aid and diners where tabouli appears on plates with fried chicken. She celebrates the region's hot tamale makers who follow the time-honored techniques that inspired many a blues lyric. And she introduces us to a new crop of Delta chefs who brine chicken in sweet tea and top stone-ground Mississippi grits with local pond-raised prawns and tomato confit. The guide also provides a taste of events such as Belzoni's World Catfish Festival and Tunica's Wild Game Cook-Off and offers dozens of tested recipes, including the Memphis barbecue pizza beloved by Elvis and a lemon ice-box pie inspired by Tennessee Williams. To William Faulkner's suggestion, “To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi,” Susan Puckett adds this advice: Go to the Delta with an open mind and an empty stomach. Make your way southward in a journey measured in meals, not miles.
Mississippi

Mississippi

Author: Anthony Walton
Publisher: Vintage Books
ISBN: 0679777415
Pages: 275
Year: 1997-01
The author describes his quest to discover his parents' roots in rural Mississippi, exploring the proud--and shameful--culture that makes up his family's--and the state's--heritage. Reprint. 17,500 first printing.
Bandit Roads

Bandit Roads

Author: Richard Grant
Publisher: Abacus
ISBN: 0748111743
Pages: 304
Year: 2009-10-01
There are many ways to die in the Sierra Madre, a notorious nine-hundred-mile mountain range in northern Mexico where AK-47s are fetish objects, the law is almost non-existent and power lies in the hands of brutal drug mafias. Thousands of tons of opium and marijuana are produced there every year. Richard Grant thought it would be a good idea to travel the length of the Sierra Madre and write a book about it. He was warned before he left that he would be killed. But driven by what he calls 'an unfortunate fascination' for this mysterious region, Grant sets off anyway. In a remarkable piece of investigative writing, he evokes a sinister, surreal landscape of lonely mesas, canyons sometimes deeper than the Grand Canyon, hostile villages and an outlaw culture where homicide is the most common cause of death and grandmothers sell cocaine. Finally his luck runs out and he finds himself fleeing for his life, pursued by men who would murder a stranger in their territory 'to please the trigger finger'.
The Song and the Silence

The Song and the Silence

Author: Yvette Johnson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476754950
Pages: 336
Year: 2018-01-09
"In this ... memoir, Yvette Johnson travels to the Mississippi Delta to uncover the true story of her later grandfather, whose extraordinary act of courage changed both their lives. "Have to keep that smile," Booker Wright said in the 1966 NBC documentary Mississippi: A Self-Portrait. At the time, Wright spent his evenings waiting tables for whites at a local restaurant and his mornings running his own business. The ripple effect from his remarks would cement Booker as a civil rights icon because he did the unthinkable: before a national audience, Wright described what life truly was like for the black people of Greenwood, Mississippi"--Jacket.
Lanterns on the Levee

Lanterns on the Levee

Author: William Alexander Percy
Publisher: Read Books Ltd
ISBN: 1446545938
Pages: 364
Year: 2013-04-16
This fascinating volume contains the memoirs of William Alexander Percy, who was born and raised in Mississippi and witnessed the social changes at the turn of the century. 'Lanterns on the Levee' is his memorial to the South within which he describes life in the Mississippi Delta, during the time between the semi-feudal South of the 1800s and the uncertain South of the early 1940s. This is a book that will be of much value to anyone with an interest in the history and development of southern American society. It is not one to be missed by collectors of William Alexander Percy's important literature. William Alexander Percy (1885 – 1942) was a lawyer, planter, and poet from Greenville, Mississippi, most famous for writing this best-selling biography. We are republishing this text now in a modern, affordable edition complete with a new prefatory biography of the author.
God's Middle Finger

God's Middle Finger

Author: Richard Grant
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 141656571X
Pages: 304
Year: 2008-03-04
Twenty miles south of the Arizona-Mexico border, the rugged, beautiful Sierra Madre mountains begin their dramatic ascent. Almost 900 miles long, the range climbs to nearly 11,000 feet and boasts several canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon. The rules of law and society have never taken hold in the Sierra Madre, which is home to bandits, drug smugglers, Mormons, cave-dwelling Tarahumara Indians, opium farmers, cowboys, and other assorted outcasts. Outsiders are not welcome; drugs are the primary source of income; murder is all but a regional pastime. The Mexican army occasionally goes in to burn marijuana and opium crops -- the modern treasure of the Sierra Madre -- but otherwise the government stays away. In its stead are the drug lords, who have made it one of the biggest drug-producing areas in the world. Fifteen years ago, journalist Richard Grant developed what he calls "an unfortunate fascination" with this lawless place. Locals warned that he would meet his death there, but he didn't believe them -- until his last trip. During his travels Grant visited a folk healer for his insomnia and was prescribed rattlesnake pills, attended bizarre religious rituals, consorted with cocaine-snorting policemen, taught English to Guarijio Indians, and dug for buried treasure. On his last visit, his reckless adventure spiraled into his own personal heart of darkness when cocaine-fueled Mexican hillbillies hunted him through the woods all night, bent on killing him for sport. With gorgeous detail, fascinating insight, and an undercurrent of dark humor, God's Middle Finger brings to vivid life a truly unique and uncharted world.
Delta Jewels

Delta Jewels

Author: Alysia Burton Steele
Publisher: Center Street
ISBN: 1455562831
Pages: 192
Year: 2015-04-07
Inspired by memories of her beloved grandmother, photographer and author Alysia Burton Steele--picture editor on a Pulitzer Prize-winning team--combines heart-wrenching narrative with poignant photographs of more than 50 female church elders in the Mississippi Delta. These ordinary women lived extraordinary lives under the harshest conditions of the Jim Crow era and during the courageous changes of the Civil Rights Movement. With the help of local pastors, Steele recorded these living witnesses to history and folk ways, and shares the significance of being a Black woman--child, daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother in Mississippi--a Jewel of the Delta. From the stand Mrs. Tennie Self took for her marriage to be acknowledged in the phone book, to the life-threatening sacrifice required to vote for the first time, these 50 inspiring portraits are the faces of love and triumph that will teach readers faith and courage in difficult times.
The Most Southern Place on Earth

The Most Southern Place on Earth

Author: James C. Cobb
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0195089138
Pages: 391
Year: 1994
"Cotton obsessed, Negro obsessed," Rupert Vance called it in 1935. "Nowhere but in the Mississippi Delta," he said, "are antebellum conditions so nearly preserved." This crescent of bottomlands between Memphis and Vicksburg, lined by the Yazoo and Mississippi rivers, remains in some ways what it was in 1860: a land of rich soil, wealthy planters, and desperate poverty--the blackest and poorest counties in all the South. And yet it is a cultural treasure house as well--the home of Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Charley Pride, Walker Percy, Elizabeth Spencer, and Shelby Foote. Painting a fascinating portrait of the development and survival of the Mississippi Delta, a society and economy that is often seen as the most extreme in all the South, James C. Cobb offers a comprehensive history of the Delta, from its first white settlement in the 1820s to the present. Exploring the rich black culture of the Delta, Cobb explains how it survived and evolved in the midst of poverty and oppression, beginning with the first settlers in the overgrown, disease-ridden Delta before the Civil War to the bitter battles and incomplete triumphs of the civil rights era. In this comprehensive account, Cobb offers new insight into "the most southern place on earth," untangling the enigma of grindingly poor but prolifically creative Mississippi Delta.