Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Just finished "Sitting Up With The Dead" by Pamela Petro. The book recounts a series of journeys undertaken by the author to the Southern United States during the summer of 1999. Through the medium of stories, the great oral tradition of the south, Petro wishes to discover what it is that makes the south so different. What makes it tick. Along the way Petro meets storytellers from various ethnic backgrounds who make the south their home. Creole, African American, Cajun, white. The author travels to from the Appalachian Mountains to the gulf coast and from the Bayous of Louisiana to the mundane interior in her pursuit of stories and their tellers. Petro encounters Brer Rabbit, The Grey Man and a menagerie of other characters on her southern odyssey.

While the stories themselves are fascinating, entertaining colourful and absorbing the only weak link is in Petro's relating of her journey. The whole thing doesn't quite fit together easily.


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