1. Willie Morris – North Toward Home
A fellow Southern transplant in Seattle recommended this to me, and I initially added it to the massive pile of great Southern lit that I haven’t gotten around to…but something about his description compelled me to snag a used copy from Powell’s and take it on a recent trip to the Yucatán peninsula with my wife.
Morris hooked me instantly with his vivid descriptions of his boyhood in post-war Yazoo City, Mississippi, his social/political awakening at the University of Texas in the late 1950s, and his experiences as a somewhat-ashamed provincial in the “big cave” of New York City, where he worked as an editor for Harper’s from 1963 to 1971. This beautiful coming of age story affected me nearly as deeply as Robert Gordon’s It Came From Memphis (the book I credit for opening my eyes to the value of my Southern roots). Highly recommended.