Sitting Up With the Dead: A Storied Journey Through the American South by Pamela Petro
An enthralling, rollicking tour among the storytellers of the American Deep South.
The story of the South is not finished. The southeastern states of America, the old Confederacy, bristle with storytellers who refuse to be silent. Many of the tales passed down from generation to generation to be told and re-told continue to change their shape to suit their time, stretching elastically to find new ways of retailing the People's Truth. Travelling back and forth, from the Carolinas to Louisiana, from the Appalachians to Atlantic islands, from Virginian valleys to Florida swamps, and sitting before bewitching storytellers who tell her tales that hold her hard, Pamela Petro gathers up a fistful of history, and sieves out of it the shiny truths that these stories have been polishing over the years. Here is another America altogether, lingering on behind the facade of the ubiquitous strip-mall of anodyne, branded commerce and communication, moving to other rhythms, reaching back into the past to clutch at the shattering events that shaped it and haunt it still.