Once in a great while, something unexpected and exceptional crosses my desk. In this case it was a gift from a friend and a new book by our recent U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo — a tome written during the global pandemic when she obviously had the opportunity to find some quiet time and reflect. She has emerged in her new book “Catching the Light” (Yale University Press, 2022) as a kind of visionary.
Another regional writer has just published a new book. Janisse Ray, whom I know as an original member of the Southern Nature Project (www.southernnature.org) and author of “Ecology of a Cracker Childhood,” is winner of many major national literary awards as well as being inducted as a member of the Georgia Literary Hall of Fame. A Georgia native, she is a neighbor of ours here in the Southern Appalachians, which is where her new book and her first novel takes place.
Wilma Mankiller was the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1985 to 1995. She was an activist for many Native American and progressive social causes and programs throughout her adult life and was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“Eleutheria” is the Greek word for “freedom.” It is also the reference name of an island in the Bahamas (Eleuthera). And it is the title and the setting for Allegra Hyde’s first novel (Vintage Books, 2022).
Having grown up in these Cherokee hills, I became interested in things native from an early age. This interest, spawned by my boyhood friends over on the Snowbird Reservation, has continued throughout my life and until today.
In my recent passion and ongoing interest in reviewing books by local and regional authors, I am offering here, yet another from our cache of talented writers that are close to home. In this case, it’s a book just released in the month of June by regionally heralded Hub City Press in Spartanburg, S.C., just over the North Carolina line.
It’s not often, if ever, that I would review a book about “how to succeed in business.” But I’m in the mood and the mode for reviewing books by local authors, and as I said in my last review in these pages our local authors have been hard at it during the pandemic cranking out new volumes of interesting, innovative and important work.
George Vanderbilt first opened Biltmore, his magnificent private estate, to family and friends on Christmas Eve 1895. Today, his descendants continue welcoming guests with that same spirit of gracious hospitality.
We’re all aware that many items in the supermarket have increased in price, so it will be no surprise to discover that this year it will be more expensive to put a Thanksgiving meal on the table. Here are some ways to save: