Turn South at the Next Magnolia
“Nan Graham is as Southern as black-eyed peas, scuppernong wine, she-crab soup, Crimson Tide tailgating and a dog with ticks. She is so Relentlessly Southern, she makes me feel that I was born in Minnesota and Bailey White in Ohio!”
Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides, Beach Music
“I thoroughly enjoyed [Nan Graham] stories.”
Bailey White, author of Mama Makes Up Her Mind
ISBN: 978-1-60489-027-3 Trade paper $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-60489-026-6 Library binding $26
Nan Graham Nan Graham grew up in Columbia, South Carolina and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her graduate degree from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Aside from a brief foray north when she worked in New York City, she has lived in the South. Her books reflect her passion for the South and all things Southern. Currently teaching honors classes in Southern Literature at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Graham has been a bi-weekly commentator for Public Radio station WHQR since 1995. Her on air by-line, “a lifelong Southerner,” reveals the focus of her humorous commentaries on growing up and growing old in the South. Her collection of essays in Turn South at the Next Magnolia was on the SEBA bestseller list and praised by author Pat Conroy who calls her work”...relentlessly Southern.” Nan has two children, a granddaughter and lives in Wilmington, North Carolina with her husband, Ernie, a West Highland terrier named Lily, and Sumter, their semi-feral cat.
From the Book:
Darning Needles and Croaker Sacks
Southerners, like cats, are born with an exaggerated sense of place. We somehow feel connected to the small Southern towns, their customs and language, even though the recent decades have eroded the clear edges of what being Southern is all about. The small towns of Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, all had a certain familiar look until recently. The county seats were built around a red brick courthouse with an obelisk to the Confederate dead within a stone’s throw of the front door.
My family was always moving when I was growing up, but fourteen of my summers were spent in Livingston, Alabama, where my grandmother lived. It was the county seat of Sumter County, where swings, seesaws, sliding boards, and a Boredwell were also in the square beside the Livingston Courthouse.
The Boredwell was an open arched pavilion with a fountain in the center for drinking and a spigot underneath the fountain to accommodate jugs and bottles. The evil-tasting mineral water from the spring below was touted as a tonic for everything from summer malaise to weak chins. Having a drink from the Boredwell was a prerequisite before you left the square after completing errands. It was part of Sumter County’s health regimen.