Books by Mississippi Writers 1996-2010



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By Willie Morris, edited by Jack Bales University Press of Mississippi (Hardcover, $28.00, ISBN: 1578064783, 10/2002) Covering the span of his forty-year career, a collection of eloquent essays by one of the South’s favorite writers. In the course of his career Willie Morris (1934­1999) attained national prominence as a journalist, editor, nonfiction writer, novelist, memoirist, and news commentator. As this eloquent book reveals, he was also a master essayist whose gift was in crafting short compositions. Shifting Interludes, an anthology that spans his career of forty years, includes pieces he wrote for the Daily Texan, Texas Observer, the Washington Star, Vanity Fair, Southern Living, and other publications. These diverse works reflect the scope of Morris’s wide-ranging interests. The collection comprises biographical profiles, newspaper editorials and columns, political analyses, travel narratives, sports commentaries, book reviews, and his thoughts—both critical and affectionate—about his beloved home state of Mississippi. Two essays are previously unpublished—“A Long-ago Rendezvous with Alger Hiss” and “The Day I Followed the Mayor around Town.” One essay, “Mississippi Rebel on a Texas Campus,” is the first article he wrote for a national publication. Morris’s subjects reflect his autobiography, his poignant feelings, and his courtly manners. He expresses his outrage as he decries Southern racism in “Despair in Mississippi,” his melancholy as he recounts a visit to his hometown Yazoo City in “The Rain Fell Noiselessly,” his grace as he salutes a college football team and its fallen comrade in “In the Spirit of the Game,” his humor as he admits to a bout of middle-age infatuation in “Mitch and the Infield Fly Rule,” and his pensiveness as he remembers his much-loved grandmother Mamie in “Weep No More, My Lady.” Willie Morris is one of Mississippi’s most acclaimed writers and a former editor of Harper’s. University Press of Mississippi reissued two of his works, North Toward Home and The Courting of Marcus Dupree, and most recently published My Mississippi, on which he collaborated with his son, the photographer David Rae Morris. Jack Bales, the reference and humanities librarian at Mary Washington College and a friend of Morris’s, compiled and edited Conversations with Willie Morris (also published by the University Press of Mississippi).

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