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A true song of the South. In splendid photographs and quiet, musing words, the South comes alive in all its independent history. And not just a South as the North sees it, in all it's flaring cliches, but as it sees itself. This large-sized, magnificent creation of a book portrays magnolia blossoms, of course, but also very much the pluck and charming eccentricity and unaffected worth of the South. The photographs speak of a nation, a section of the country, an old-time goodness unspoiled by consumerism. The 15 original stories by Kathryn Windham ( a respected journalist, some 82 years old) capture the small town flavor of the South in the 1930s as seen from the mind of a happy child who remembers flowers and large families and, especially, the family cook, Thurza. The photographs are full-blown portraits of a heritage and they range across the South, from Florida to Kentucky, from North Carolina to Alabama. In the days before exact recipes, when family cooks made food by feel and look and taste, Thurza made her soups and pies and cornbread and chicken the old way, by instinct and devotion. You look at these pages, entranced. This is the grand South, from the mind and eyes of the South. And it's a family album that tells the story of courtesy and trust and old-time way. The photographs of the people, the land, the structures of life from award-winning photographer Cooper have the same essential thread of consciousness as the stories, and they are the visual representations of goodness and a very special American way of being. Jay Bail - Executive Editor, The Book Reader [via]