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All over but the shoutin'
Rick Bragg
Adult Nonfiction PN4874.B6625 A3 1997

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From Publishers' Weekly:

"A common condition of being poor white trash," explains New York Times correspondent Bragg on learning he won a Pulitzer Prize last year, is that "you are always afraid that the good things in your life are temporary, that someone can take them away." Having won that prize for stories about others, he tells his own here in a mixture of moving anecdotes and almost masochistic self-analysis. He brings alive his childhood of Southern poverty‘his absentee father dead at 40, one brother scavenging coal for the family at nine, the other in and out of jail. Someone advised Bragg, "[T]o tell a story right you have to lean the words against each other so that they don't all fall down," and his gift for language shines through every scene of violence and deprivation. If only he would let events speak for themselves, but all too often the tone falters and Bragg takes time out to excoriate some long-gone colleague and to pass out guilt badges. What saves this uneven, jolting narrative is his love and respect for his mother, who dragged him behind her as a toddler while she picked cotton in the fields. His ambition to buy her a house was realized last year: "She never had a wedding ring, or a decent car, or even a set of furniture that matched. Or teeth that fit. But she had a home now... of her own." (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

The journalist who wrote and narrates this recent work (LJ 9/15/97) has won many awards for his writing, including the Pulitzer Prize, as the listener is reminded repeatedly. Therein lies the problem with his story: it is an odd combination of braggadocio and insecurity. The work is purportedly about the author's determination to succeed so he can help his mother out of poverty; it exalts the mother and demonizes the father but is mostly about Rick Bragg. Even self-effacing remarks seem calculated to gain sympathy. But most disturbing is a contemptuous, retaliatory tone, aimed at just about any group not born poor in the South. All the striving is apparently fueled by a need to "get even with life." While Bragg has a flair as a writer, this personal take is not recommended.‘Mark Pumphrey, Polk Cty. P.L., Columbus, N.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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