Nonfiction Writers Visit Bookshop
BY FAYE M. DASEN
The Country Bookshop hosts two authors this week: Karen L. Cox, author of "Dreaming of Dixie: How the South Was Created in American Popular Culture," and Craig Nova, author of "Brook Trout and the Writing Life."
Cox will be appearing Tuesday, May 24, at 7 p.m., and Nova will be there at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 26.
Karen L. Cox, an associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, will discuss her book, which is about how popular culture portrayed the American South as a region from the late 19th century through World War II.
Films, books and magazines showed the South as a place focused on its antebellum past, with moonlight and magnolias and such icons as white-columned mansions, Southern belles, etc.
According to Cox, the chief purveyors of this nostalgia were not Southerners themselves, but advertising agencies, musicians, publishers, radio personalities, writers and filmmakers.
She examines how Southerners themselves embraced the imaginary romance of the region's past, particularly in the tourist trade as Southern states and cities sought to capitalize on popular perceptions by showcasing their Old South heritage.
Only when television emerged as the most influential medium of popular culture did views of the South begin to change, as news coverage of the civil rights movement brought images of violence, protest and conflict in the South into people's living rooms.
Cox is also the author of "Dixie's Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture," which won the 2004 Julia Cherry Spruill Prize for the best book in Southern women's history.
In his memoir, "Brook Trout and the Writing Life," novelist Craig Nova, a North Carolina resident, explores the interconnections between his work as a writer, his personal life and his passion for fly-fishing.
Nova leads the reader into his courtship, marriage, the birth of his children and his life as a father, husband, writer, friend, citizen and angler. Just as the author observes the life of the elusive and beautiful brook trout in the tea-colored streams, he finds interconnections to his daily life - he teaches his daughter to build an igloo; he deals with the disappointment of a very public mean-spirited review of his much-anticipated novel; he gazes at his wife-to-be in her hammock by a stream; he finds himself the victim of a random blackmailer.
This autobiography is a reprint and expansion of Nova's highly regarded memoir originally published in 1999. This new edition includes substantial sections of new work and an introduction by Ann Beattie.
Craig Nova is the award-winning author of 12 novels and one autobiography. His latest novel is "The Informer." Nova's writing has appeared in Esquire, The Paris Review, The New York Times Magazine and Men's Journal, among others. He has received an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2005 he was named Class of 1949 Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
"When my children went away to college, I realized that I had some extra time on my hands," says Nova. "I thought it would be a good idea to share some of what I had learned after those years alone in a room."
For information, call (910) 692-3211.
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