To understand yourself, you must first know where you come from. You’re raised on family stories, and you come to learn that your features, your ways of doing things, are marked by your heritage. Four books with North Carolina ties are rooted in this legacy.
Outer Banks novelist Young-Stone tells the tale of Prudence Vilkas, who comes from a long line of bird-women. Her wings, removed at birth, are genetic, a Lithuanian beauty mark. During World War II, her family assumed a new identity; similarly, Prudence’s scars have altered her. She must now accept her heritage to learn who she was, and is.
All I Have in This World
by Michael Parker (Algonquin Books, 2014).
Maria and Marcus meet in the parking lot of a used car dealership in Pinto Canyon, Texas. She’s a native; he’s a Tar Heel running from something. Together, they embark on a journey of shared circumstances, and create a friendship as unique as the storied history of the car they buy together.
Beans & Field Peas
by Sandra Gutierrez (UNC Press, 2015).
Tradition holds that eating peas — whether black-eyed or field — on New Year’s Day is good luck. They’re a staple of ordinary life in the South, too, a supper of good eatin’. “I was determined to know beans,” Thoreau wrote. In this Savor the South cookbook, Gutierrez is determined to help you know them, too.
Carolina Writers at Home
edited by Meg Reid (Hub City Press, 2015).
Writers create make-believe worlds, studded with adventure, mystery, and pathos. But outside of their work, they’re just like you and me. In this intimate collection of essays, we’re invited into the homes of 25 Southern writers, and introduced to their singular spaces, collections of curiosities, and personal projects.
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