Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Reading

Vacation, a time for cold beer, hot sun, and good books.

My Knoxville oriented recommendation this summer is an absolute classic, James Agee's A Death in the Family. I read it just last week and have a new respect for this scion of southern lit.

It was a joy to read about Old Knoxville, walking through the Fort (when there still was an actual fort), shopping on Gay St., riding real trolleys, our city has always offered so much. Not only that Agee has an insight into the mind that is nothing short of impressive. It is beautiful, morose, peaceful, and timeless.

Perhaps check it out here.

I also read McCarthy's Blood Meridian... wow.

Any rec's from readers?


Ian said...

Mc Carthy's Suttree. The main character's houseboat is literally a stone's throw off the River House back patio.

The Pol said...

It is on my bedside table as we speak.

Ian said...

Did you go to the Cormac birthday thing last night at Union Ave. Books?

The Modern Gal said...

Pol, you need to read this version:

It's the restoration of the text done by UT prof Michael Lofaro after years of combing through Agee's manuscripts, notes, letters, etc. He's restored it to what he thinks Agee intended it to be, not what the editor did to it after his death.

Jennifer Le' Shay Harper said...

I read it within the first week or two of moving to Knoxville. In addition to being a lovely, moving book (the image of the bird will always be with me) it was a great way to explore my knew city, including its past and present.

Ian said...

I read it when I lived in the Fort. I loved the fact that I could stand up and look out the living room window, and see the Asylum Ave. viaduct (torn down when they finished the interstate offramp) that Agee and his father walked down on the way to Market Square.

There's a set of apartments where his house was on Highland Ave. At least they were called "Agee Place" when I moved here in the eighties. It was subsequently renamed "Fountain Place" by some asshole who bought the building.