Mississippi Books and Writers

November 1998

Note: Prices listed below reflect the publisher's suggested list price. They are subject to change without notice.

Art in Mississippi 1720-1980 Art in Mississippi 1720-1980

Nonfiction by Patti Carr Black

University Press of Mississippi (Hardcover, $60.00, ISBN: 1578060842)

Publication date: November 1998

Brief Review:

In Art in Mississippi Patti Carr Black focuses on several hundred significant artists and showcases in full color the work of more than two hundred. Nationally acclaimed native Mississippians are here—George Ohr, Walter Anderson, Marie Hull, Theora Hamblett, William Dunlap, Sam Gilliam, William Hollingsworth, Jr., Karl Wolfe, Mildred Nungester Wolfe, John McCrady, Ed McGowin, James Seawright, and many others. Prominent artists who lived or worked in the state for a significant period of time are included as well—John James Audubon, Louis Comfort Tiffany, George Caleb Bingham, William Aiken Walker, and more. Black explores how art reflects the land and how modes of living and values dictated by Mississippi’s changing topography created a variety of art forms. She demonstrates the influence of Mississippi’s diverse cultures upon the art and shows how it has responded in many forms—painting, architecture, sculpture, fine crafts—to the changing aesthetics of national art movements.

Journey to Beloved Journey to Beloved

Nonfiction by Oprah Winfrey, photographs by Ken Regan

Hyperion (Hardcover, $40.00, ISBN: 0786864583)

Publication date: November 1998


Of all the events in Oprah Winfrey’s life, none has affected her powerfully as playing the part of Sethe, the former slave who must come to terms with a haunting past, in Jonathan Demme’s film of Toni Morrison’s Pulizer Prize-winning novel. Oprah fell in love with the book when it was first published in 1988, and instantly became determined to deliver this powerful story to film herself. But making the movie was something even more profound than she might have imagined, and Journey to Beloved is her own emotional account of that experience.

With Oprah’s heartfelt words and the evocative images of Ken Regan, Journey to Beloved is an elegant book that will interest fans of Oprah, of Toni Morrison, and of fine filmmaking. Accompanying Oprah’s personal journals and thoughts about the Beloved experience is a foreword by Jonathan Demme and a chorus of voices, from Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Kimberly Elise, and Beah Richards. The result is a tribute to a courageous work of art, expressed as only Oprah can express it.

Where Water Begins: New Poems and Prose

By John Stone

Louisiana State University Press (Hardcover, $22.95, ISBN: 0807123269; Paperback, $12.95, ISBN: 0807123277)

Publication date: November 1998

Description from Booklist: (15 October 1998)

Galumphing meters and strained rhymes used to distinguish amateurish poetry, but since the confessional poetry of the 1950s, earnest, diary-like prosiness has been its hallmark. Stone, a physician, may be an amateur poet, writing about the kinds of things one would ponder in a diary and inserting prose memoirs among the poems, but he isn’t amateurish. He uses meter and rhyme very skillfully, and he knows how to involve us in the events of his life by saying what they were and how he experienced them rather than how he feels about them. Here, those events include living on after his wife’s too-early death, spending Halloween in a third-floor hotel room whose sliding door opens on thin air, exchanging songs with a mockingbird, noticing a big soap bubble floating through highway traffic, and doing without running water during a weekend at a getaway cabin. All are vivid, as if they were our experiences as well as Stone’s, and perhaps they are. Review by Ray Olson. —Copyright © 1998, American Library Association.

Shakespeare's ChristmasShakespeare’s Christmas

By Charlaine Harris

St. Martin’s (Hardcover, ISBN: 0312193300)

Publication date: November 1998

Description from Kirkus Reviews:

But its neither Shakespeare nor Christmas, actually, since Lily Bard, the most formidable cleaning woman in Shakespeare, Ark., leaves her adopted hometown in the opening chapter to return to her family’s queasy bosom in Bartley for her sister Varena’s wedding, a Christmas Eve affair that’s bound to upstage the usual round of holiday festivities.

What it doesn’t upstage is a long-unsolved kidnapping—the snatching of newborn Summer Dawn Macklesby from her family’s porch eight years before, a crime that springs to alarming life again courtesy of an anonymously donated newspaper clipping announcing that Summer Dawn is one of the three eight-year-olds pictured.

The candidates: Varena’s next-door neighbor Eve Osborn, her minister’s daughter Krista O’Shea, and Anna Kingery, daughter of Varena’s intended. Lily, who’s herself the survivor of a brutal abduction and would rather be working than socializing anyway, isn’t about to back down from this challenge, particularly after she and Varena stumble on the bodies of Dr. Dave LeMay and his nurse Binnie Armstrong—a powerful reminder that the Macklesby kidnapping has yet to be laid to rest.

The detection is routine (Lily snoops around as she cleans the suspects’ houses), and bucolic Bartley is no Shakespeare. Only Lily herself, in full attack mode, carries the day. —Copyright 1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Beach WalksBeach Walks

By George Thatcher

Quail Ridge Press (Hardcover, $9.95, ISBN: 0937552976)

Publication date: November 1998

Description from the publisher:

The beach and the open sea offer a special opportunity to find spiritual pleasure. George Thatcher has fully utilized this opportunity. The retired banker and Gulfport resident records his daily beach walks in a column that runs daily in The Sun Herald (Biloxi). His entries are brief—but they capture the memorable impressions of his daily sojourns. Throughout the seasons, sometimes at sunrise, sometimes at sunset, his sensitive eye and acute consciousness enable us all to experience the special joys of the beach and all its wonder.

Unlike the piston-armed walker with the stopwatch to time his paces, Thatcher observes the subtle vignettes of the beach. His focus may be on a conch shell one day, while on another evening, the wonder of a sea turtle burying her eggs may inspire him.

“A beach walk offers a bit of peace in a busy world. Amid spectacular seascapes, there is opportunity to consider one’s own interior landscapes....” —George Thatcher

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