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Travels with Foxfire: Stories of People, Passions, and Practices from Southern Appalachia (Foxfire Series) (Paperback)
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Since 1972, the Foxfire books have preserved and celebrated the culture of Southern Appalachia for hundreds of thousands of readers. In Travels with Foxfire, native son Phil Hudgins and Foxfire student Jessica Phillips travel from Georgia to the Carolinas, Tennessee to Kentucky, collecting the stories of the men and women who call the region home.
Across more than thirty essays, we discover the secret origins of stock car racing, the story behind the formation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the vanishing art of gathering wild ginseng, and the recipes of an award-winning cookbook writer. We meet bootleggers and bear hunters, game wardens and medicine women, water dowsers, sculptors, folk singers, novelists, record collectors, and home cooks—even the world’s foremost “priviologist”—all with tales to tell.
A rich compendium of the collected wisdom of artists, craftsmen, musicians, and moonshiners, Travels with Foxfire is a joyful tribute to the history, the geography, and the traditions that define Appalachian living.
About the Author
Founded in 1966, FOXFIRE is a nonprofit education organization. Foxfire's learner-centered, community-based approach is advocated through The Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center and grounded in the Southern Appalachian culture that promotes a sense of place and appreciation of local people and culture as essential educational tools.
“Say Foxfire! and we’re there. A new volume in the classic series of Appalachian storytelling, outdoors tips, and collected wisdom, this paperback original expands the usual Foxfire stomping grounds of the north Georgia mountains to the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Kentucky.” —Garden & Gun Magazine
“You get pulled in. . . . Light-hearted proof that some of the old idiosyncratic spirit [of Appalachia] remains. . . . To this day, I feel sure that if I found myself alone in the mountains with nothing but a hatchet, a dutch oven and a copy of The Foxfire Book, I’d have a pretty good chance to survive. . . . [Travels with Foxfire] is still about making things. . . . The vignettes . . . coalesce around an idea best put forth by Jane Taylor, a native of Gainesville, Ga., in the chapter titled ‘How to Turn Junk Into Art.’ ‘I was very serious most of my life,’ she says. ‘Very serious. I was brought up that way. You don’t play. I was good at what I did, but I never really enjoyed it.’ She found a way to live her own life by her own rules, eventually learning to weld, in love with ‘gorgeous iron, broken, sad, beautiful.’” —Max Watman, The Wall Street Journal
"A welcome rekindling of the Foxfire franchise of books on Southern folkways. Journalist Hudgins and former Foxfire student Phillips continue the fine tradition of publishing collections of oral history around Southern Appalachian cultural mores. . . . In keeping with Foxfire tradition, there's a little bit of everything in this collection. . . . A lively model of modern folklore and a must for fans of the original series." —Kirkus Reviews
"Anyone with an interest in Americana, history, or nature will appreciate these poignant and enjoyable stories of shared knowledge and traditions." —Publishers Weekly
“An engrossing shout-out to the distinct and varied culture of Southern Appalachia. . . . Phil Hudgins and Jessica Phillips attempts to characterize the area in a colorful collection of over 30 essays. . . . The authors traveled throughout Southern Appalachia pocketing tales. . . . They also spoke with medicine women, game wardens, folk singers and more.” —Augusta Chronicle