PROGRAM 1: October 3, 1999
Living Stories of the Cherokee, collected and edited by Barbara Duncan
The first major collection of Cherokee tales published in nearly 100 years, Living Stories of the Cherokee is an eloquent and elegant patchwork of history, myth and song, in the tradition of the great historic epics from the Bhagavadgita and Gilgamesh to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Dante's Inferno. Barbara Duncan--folklorist, scholar, and songwriter--is one of the most influential documenters of folk life in southern Appalachia working today.
Guests: Barbara Duncan, editor; Dave Arch, a storyteller featured in Living Stories of the Cherokee.
PROGRAM 2: October 10, 1999
Tales of the South by William Gilmore Simms, edited & introduced by Mary Ann Wimsatt
This is a representative sampling of the short fiction of William Gilmore Simms, a nineteenth-century American writer whose popularity once surpassed that of his contemporaries, Edgar Allan Poe and Herman Melville. His novels were widely acclaimed during his lifetime; his short stories are less well-known but now
regarded by an expanding circle of critics as his best work. These sprightly, highly imaginative tales offer intimate views of nineteenth-century work and domesticity while exploring the legends, superstitions and folk experiences of all classes and races of antebellum society.
Guests: Mary Ann Wimsatt, McClintock Professor of Southern Letters at University of South Carolina and StoryLines America Southeast consultant; Lucinda McKethan, professor of Southern Literature at North Carolina State Universityand co-editor of The Companion to Southern Literature.
PROGRAM 3: October 17, 1999
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave by Frederick Douglass
First published in 1845, this dramatic autobiography is one of the most eloquent indictments of slavery ever recorded. Douglass's shocking narrative takes the reader into the world of the South's antebellum plantations, revealing the daily terror he suffered as a slave, and how he developed the powerful principles that led him to triumph over the circumstances of his birth, secure his freedom, and become the first great African-American leader in the United States. In addition, his account sheds invaluable light on a pivotal period in American history.
Guests: Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Chair, Dept. of Afro-American Studies at Harvard; Houston Baker, professor of English at Duke University and editor of American Literature.
PROGRAM 4: October 24, 1999
Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball
A compelling, unblinking exploration, by a white man, of the history and legacy of slavery in his own family and the Black families with whom his is inextricably intertwined. This exhaustively researched, highly acclaimed account reveals the riches and squalor, violence and insurrection, pride and shame of the history and legacy of slavery in the United States.
Guests: Edward Ball, author; Dr. Barnetta White, retired professor from the School of Education at North Carolina Central University and a specialist in African American genealogy and Black History.
PROGRAM 5: October 31, 1999
Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
First published in 1929, this semi-autobiographical novel tells the story of a restless young man who longs to escape his tumultuous family and stifling small town. Set in Altamont, North Carolina, it evokes a time and place with extraordinary lyricism and precision, and has become one of the great classics of twentieth-century American literature.
Guests: Dr. John Idol, scholar associated with the Thomas Wolfe Society; Ted Mitchell associated with the Thomas Wolfe Memorial in Asheville, NC.
PROGRAM 6: November 7, 1999
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
This highly acclaimed debut novel is the story of two parallel journeys. The first is that of Inman, a wounded Confederate veteran who walks hundreds of miles to his home and his love, Ada, in the remote hills of North Carolina. Along the way he meets all kinds of rogues and scoundrels, Good Samaritans and other helpers.
The second is the internal odyssey of Ada, raised in the rarified air of Charleston society and learning to cope in the backwoods after her father's death. Beautifully written and deeply satisfying, Cold Mountain won the National Book Award for fiction in 1997.
Guests: Charles Frazier, author; Darnell Arnoult, graduate student, writing dissertation on Cold Mountain; Anne Mitchell Whisnant, professor of History at UNC-Chapel Hill.
PROGRAM 7: November 14, 1999
A Good Man is Hard to Find And Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor
With a keen eye for the dark side of human nature, an amazing ear for dialogue, and a subtle sense of irony, this collection exposes the underside of life in the rural South. Sexual and racial attitudes, poverty and riches, adolescence, old age, and being thirty-four, "which wasn't any age at all," are only some of the issues
touched upon in this classic collection. Flannery O'Connor won the National Book Award in 1972.
Guests: Lorraine Johnson-Coleman, NPR commentator, folklorist & storyteller; Sarah Gordon, professor of English, Speech and Journalism at Georgia College and State University who is associated with the Flannery O'Connor Society.
PROGRAM 8: November 21, 1999
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
This novel, arguably one of the century's finest, is the story of a Black woman's quest for identity in 1930s America. It has been highly praised as "the prototypical Black novel of affirmation" (Black World) and as "in the same category with [the work of] William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway of enduring American literature" (Saturday Review).
Guests: Lorraine Johnson-Coleman, NPR commentator, folklorist & storyteller; Trudier Harris, professor of African American literature at UNC Chapel Hill and StoryLines America Southeast consultant.
PROGRAM 9: November 28, 1999
Rich in Love by Josephine Humphreys
Written in deceptively simple and direct language, this is a story of Lucille Odom, who is seventeen years old and trying to hold her family together after her mother's abrupt departure. As she moves beyond her own needs, she begins to understand love in its many forms: parental, filial, fraternal, sexual, and self.
in Love is a moving story of growing up, with all its pain and glory, and a portrait of a family becoming individuals in order to remain a family.
Guests: Josephine Humphreys, author; Allan Gurganus, North Carolina native and author of The Last Living Confederate Widow Tells All.
PROGRAM 10: December 5, 1999 (previously scheduled as Program 13)
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The novel that established Alice Walker as a major voice in America letters, this is the story of Celie, a victim of incest and marital violence, and how she gains self-respect and strength. Her struggle is revealed through her thirty-year correspondence with her sister, Nettie, a missionary in Africa. The Color Purple was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and The American Book Award, and was hailed by The New York Times Book Review for its "intense emotional impact," and by the San Francisco Chronicle as "a work to stand beside literature of any time and place."
Guests: Sallyann Ferguson and Karla Holloway.
PROGRAM 11: December 12, 1999
The Floatplane Notebooks by Clyde Edgerton
This is the story of the Copeland family of Listre, North Carolina, whose head, Albert, writes down everyone's stories in the notebooks he originally bought to log the glorious flights of his homemade floatplane, which never did fly. A highly acclaimed contemporary writer, Edgerton here alternates accounts of the Vietnam War with wildly funny sequences of sexual exploration, combining a gift for comedy with piercing insights into family ties.
Guests: Clyde Edgerton, author; Shannon Ravenal, co-founder of Algonguin Books.
PROGRAM 12: December 19, 1999
Clear Pictures: First Loves, First Guides by Reynolds Price
This memoir recalls Price's childhood spent in the North Carolina countryside, the same landscape that has served as the setting for most of his many beloved novels. Here he shares powerful stories of the friends and family who helped shape him into the man and writer he is today. He captures the spirit of a community recovering from the Depression, living through World War II, and facing the economic and social changes of the 1950s.
Guests: James Schiff, professor at Univ. of Cincinnati and author of Critical Essays on Reynolds Price and Understanding Reynolds Price.
PROGRAM 13: December 26, 1999 (previously scheduled as Program 10)
Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith
Set in turn-of-the-century, southern Appalachia, this is the story of Ivy Rowe, told entirely through her letters. Touching, poignant, and at times humorous, her letters reflect the struggles and poverty mixed with her own irrepressible spirit that mark her life in the backwoods. The
Los Angeles Times called it "A tour de
force," and the Chicago Tribune said, "Few readers will be dry-eyed as they watch this extraordinary woman disappear around that last bend in the road."
Guest: Lee Smith, author.