Poor Man's Provence: Finding Myself in Cajun Louisiana

Johnson, Rheta Grimsley

Published by Winston Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A.: John F Blair Pub, 2008
ISBN 10: 1588382184 / ISBN 13: 9781588382184
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Book only opened for author signature. It is new and unread. Author signed the book during an event at Pass Christian Books in Pass Christian, Mississippi. This is a third printing. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: For over a decade, syndicated columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson has been spending several months a year in Southwest Louisiana, deep in the heart of Cajun Country. Unlike many other writers who have parachuted into the swampy paradise for a few days or weeks, Rheta fell in love with the place, bought a second home and set in planting doomed azaleas and deep roots. She has found an assortment of beautiful people in a homely little town called Henderson, right on the edge of the Atchafalaya Swamp.

These days, much is labeled Cajun that is not, and the popularity of the unique culture’s food, songs and dance has been a mixed blessing. The revival of French Louisiana’s traditional music and cuisine often has been cheapened by counterfeits. Confused pilgrims sometimes look to New Orleans for a sampler platter of all things Cajun. Close, but no cigar.

Poor Man’s Provence helps define what’s what through lively characters and stories. The book is both personal odyssey and good reporting, travelogue and memoir, funny and frank. This beguiling place is as exotic as it gets without a passport. The author shares what keeps her coming home to French Louisiana.

And as NPR commentator Bailey White observes in her foreword, "Both Rheta's readers and the people she writes about will be comfortable, well fed, highly entertained, and happy they came to Poor Man's Provence."

About the Author: Rheta Grimsley Johnson has covered the South for over three decades as a newspaper reporter and columnist. She writes about ordinary but fascinating people, mining for universal meaning in individual stories. In past reporting for United Press International, The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and a number of other regional newspapers, Johnson has won national awards. They include the Ernie Pyle Memorial Award for human interest reporting (1983), the Headliner Award for commentary (1985), the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ Distinguished Writing Award for commentary (1982). In 1986 she was inducted into the Scripps Howard Newspapers Editorial Hall of Fame. In 1991 Johnson was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Syndicated today by King Features of New York, Johnson’s column appears in about 50 papers nationwide. She is the author of several books, including America’s Faces (1987) and Good Grief: The Story of Charles M. Schulz (1989). In 2000 she wrote the text for a book of photographs entitled Georgia. A native of Colquitt, Ga., Johnson grew up in Montgomery, Ala., studied journalism at Auburn University and has lived and worked in the South all of her career. In December 2010, Johnson married retired Auburn University history professor Hines Hall.

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Title: Poor Man's Provence: Finding Myself in Cajun...
Publisher: Winston Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A.: John F Blair Pub
Publication Date: 2008
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New

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