Rick Bragg is a journalist and a Southerner. This means he can tell a heck of a story in a few words and leave the reader laughing or crying...or both.
I have been a fan since reading his first book All Over But the Shoutin' which is the story of growing up dirt poor in Alabama and the sacrifices that his momma made for the family. It is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Although he has written other books about his family - one about his father and another about his maternal grandfather - his loving look at his mother remains my favorite.
I am quite taken with his style and also enjoyed reading a collection of his newspaper stories, Somebody Told Me. He loves the South and its people.
My Southern Journey: True Stories From the Heart of the South is his latest book. It is a collection of some new and some previously published essays and magazine pieces. He writes the Southern Journal column in Southern Living magazine so I imagine some of these musings come from there.
I heard Mr. Bragg speak here in Louisville years ago when he attended a library author event. I am in love with his voice, his squinty eyes, his care in choosing the precise word, his cracking good sense of humor.
I am looking forward to reading his latest reflections on life below the Mason-Dixon line. Right now, I could use a good dose of Southern heart.