⌄ Format Kindle Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta (English Edition) uk ᐛ ePUB Author Richard Grant ᠉

⌄  Format Kindle Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta (English Edition) uk ᐛ ePUB Author Richard Grant ᠉ ⌄ Format Kindle Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta (English Edition) uk ᐛ ePUB Author Richard Grant ᠉ Dispatches from Pluto Prologue I WAS LIVING in New York City when I decided to buy an old plantation house in the Mississippi Delta It was out in the cotton fields and cypress swamps of Holmes County, the poorest county in Americas poorest state Theres No Place Like Holmes, Catch The Southern Spirit, announced a weather beaten sign on the county line It was illustrated with magnolia blossoms and perforated by shotgun blasts The nearest neighbors were three miles away across fields and woods The nearest supermarket was twenty five miles away It was well stocked with pig knuckles, hog jowls, boiled peanuts, and hunting magazines, but it was another twenty five miles to find organic eggs, strong cheese, or crusty bread A few close friends understood why I wanted to live there, as a misfit Englishman with a US passport and a taste for remote places, but most people were genuinely mystified, or doubtful about my sanity Why would anyone in his right mind choose to live in the backwoods of Mississippi No state has a beautiful nameMiss and Sis are sipping on something sippy, and its probably a sweet tea or an iced bourbon drinkbut no state is synonymous in the rest of the country with racism, ignorance, and cultural backwardness When I told them about my plans, many friends and acquaintances felt compelled to sing me the chorus of a 1964 Nina Simone song, Everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam In bad imitation Southern drawls, they cracked wise about toothlessness, banjo music, men named Bubba, and the probability of getting myself raped in the woods one Saturday night One white woman accused me of being racist for wanting to live in Mississippi, even though its the blackest state in America and Holmes County is than 80 percent African American All Southerners are racists, and Mississippi is the worst of all, she opined She had never set foot in the state, and never intended to, because she already knew everything she needed to know about Mississippi One of my hopes in writing this book is to dissolve these clumsy old stereotypes, and illustrate my conviction that Mississippi is the best kept secret in America Nowhere else is so poorly understood by outsiders, so unfairly maligned, so surreal and peculiar, so charming and maddening Individually, collectively, and above all politically, Mississippians have a kind of genius for charging after phantoms and lost causes Nowhere else in the world have I met so many fine, generous, honorable people, but if you look at the statistics, and read the news stories coming out of Mississippi, the state gives every appearance of being a redneck disaster zone As I was scrabbling around for a mortgage, and trying to persuade my liberal girlfriend to move there with me, Mississippi was found once again to be the poorest state in the Union, a position it has held consistently since the end of the Civil War Once again, it was the fattest state, with than a third of its adult population classified as obese It was number one in the nation for teenage pregnancy, illiteracy, failure to graduate high school, religious devotion, political conservatism, and sexually transmitted diseases The Republican dominated legislature, caricatured by Saturday Night Live as thirty hissing possums in a barn, was trying to close down the states last abortion clinic, and a fifty two year old Delta man had just been arrested in a police sting operation while having carnal relations with a show hog Do yall even know what a show hog looks like when they get through with all the shampooing and blow drying and beauty treatments said my friend Martha Foose the cookbook writer She was calling from her house in the Delta town of Greenwood, less than a mile from the unnatural crime scene Its a beauty pageant for swine, and they get those hogs dolled up They shave their underparts, and curl their eyelashes, and buff their little trotters, and I guess its just than some guys can stand I call it dating down the food chain, and frankly, its a wonder it doesnt happen often I first met Martha a few years ago in Oxford, Mississippi, the elegant, cultured, slightly dissolute university town in the northern hills of the state, where William Faulkner lived most of his life I had stumbled across Oxford while interviewing elderly blues singers in the mid 1990s, fallen under its charms, and visited regularly ever since Martha was there promoting her first cookbook, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, a collection of recipes and stories drawn from her upbringing in the Mississippi Delta, and influenced by her training at a top cooking school in Paris The book went on to win a James Beard Award for American Cooking At the reading, she served high octane bourbon cocktails, told some outlandish tales, and then we all decamped to the mayors house for drinks and an impromptu dance party At that time, the mayor of Oxford was the owner of the local bookstore, Square Books, and he and his wife kept their doors open to visiting writers and anyone else in the mood for fun At the party Martha kept imploring me to visit her beloved home ground in the Delta, a part of the state I didnt know at all She described it as a separate place from the rest of Mississippi, with its own unique history and culture, although nowhere on earth was deeply Southern She offered to take me on a grand tour of the Delta, and said I could stay for as long as I liked at her familys farm, in a remote and mysterious sounding place called Pluto GPS doesnt work there, it just spins round and around, and thats the way we like it, she drawled in my ear as the mayor cranked up the music They took away our zip code, because we ran out of people and the postmistress drank too much And its so beautiful there, uh Youll never want to leave Other people cautioned me about the Delta Things get weird as shit down there, said my friend Doug Roberts, and this made me pay attention, because Dougs standards of weirdness and normalcy are fairly skewed to begin with A law school graduate who couldnt face being a lawyer, he sometimes appears at social functions wearing a penis gourd from Papua New Guinea and a coyote pelt on his head The Delta is our Haiti, he said Its the third world right in the middle of America Crime is bad, corruption is bad Its seventy percent black and the poverty is hard core Whole towns are basically caving in and rotting away And youve got a bunch of rich white farmers living the good life right in the middle of it, and trying to pretend like everythings normal Its the South, were great at denying reality, but the strain of it makes us weird sometimes, and you see a lot of that in the Delta Lots of eccentrics, boozers, nutballs The mayors wife described the Delta as, beautiful, tragic, and totally batshit crazy Then she resumed go go dancing with Martha to Booker T and the MGs until the mayor boogalooed headlong into the stereo and sent the needle skittering across the old record IT TOOK A couple of years, but I finally freed up the time and money for Marthas grand Delta tour I drove down from New York City, where my girlfriend was on edge and my dog was depressed, all of us crammed into a tiny Manhattan apartment we couldnt afford Our plan had been to live in New York for a year, because life is short, and our best friends were there, but four months had emptied out our bank accounts in a way that scarcely seemed possible Lying awake in bed at night, I had the persistent illusion that the citys molars were gnawing on my skull, while its fingers rifled through my pockets for yet money Neither of us wanted to go back to Tucson, Arizona, where Mariah had lived all her life, and I had kept an address for twenty years But it was becoming clear that we didnt belong in New York Mariah missed her garden and the presence of nature Our dog Savanna lay on the floor of the apartment all day without moving, head resting on her paws, eyes open and mournful, a picture of canine despondency A burly energetic German shepherd mix, she had grown up in a sunny Arizona backyard Now she was cooped up in a four hundred and twenty five square foot apartment and getting increasingly aggressive at the dog park I knew the feeling I was starting to experience violent revenge fantasies against strangers who cut in line If one person told me smugly what they werent eating now, I was going to scream As I was settling a billing dispute at a parking garage, trying to exit and get on the road to Mississippi, the driver behind me started honking his horn I walked over to him in a coiled rage and pounded my fist on the roof of his car New York was still a marvel, a wonder, an endless fascination, but as I left the city behind, I breathed a deep sigh of relief, and then realized how long it had been since I breathed deeply Like most New Yorkers, I was in the habit of grabbing my oxygen in shallow snatches from the grimy air Driving south, I left the grimy dregs of winter behind and crossed over into spring Redbuds were blooming Wildflowers lined the two lane highways as I came down through Tennessee and passed a big blue highway sign saying, Welcome to Mississippi, Birthplace of Americas Music The music was the first thing I knew of Mississippi As a teenager in London, working back through American popular music, I found my way to Jimmie Rodgers, the pioneer of country western, from Meridian, Mississippi Elvis Presley from Tupelo Ike Turner from Clarksdale and above all, the Delta blues and the electrified version that Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, and other Mississippians developed in Chicago Around the same time, I discovered the novels of William Faulkner, which deepened the mystery of Mississippi in my young mind Now I drove through the hills around Oxford, which Faulkner had immortalized in a dozen books and renamed Yoknapatawpha County, and I kept driving west until the hills came to an end Now the road swung me down on to the vast alluvial plain of the Delta, a place unlike anywhere I had seen before The sky yawned open and the horizons leapt out The light turned golden and radiant, pouring down on shimmering fields of cotton and corn and soybeans The land was as flat as the ocean, and as I drove across it, I came across primordial interruptions in the empire of modern agriculture remnant swamps of cypress and tupelo gum, stretches of thick jungly woods It was also a landscape of ruins Abandoned barns and shacks were being swallowed whole by lush and monstrous growths of Virginia creeper and trumpet vines Weeds fractured the forecourt of an old gas station with the pumps standing there like tombstones and a loose dog trotting past with his ribs showing I drove past rivers, creeks, and bayous, all brimful with the same muddy brown water, kept back from the croplands by an elaborate system of levees, pumps, sluice gates, and drainage ditches The true delta of the Mississippi River, the place where it reaches the sea, is down in coastal Louisiana The place known as the Mississippi Delta is the shared ancestral floodplain of the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers, a place that still wants to go underwater every spring Two hundred miles long and seventy miles across at its widest point, it begins just south of Memphis and ends at Vicksburg In 1865, at the end of the Civil War, nine tenths of the Delta was still virgin wilderness It was the last real frontier in the lower forty eight states, a forbidding swamp forest full of immense trees and impenetrable canebrakes, teeming with wolves, bears, panthers, alligators, snakes, and disease carrying insects Then, by a staggering quantity of effort, most of it exerted by mules and newly freed slaves, the ancient forests were cleared to get at the rich alluvial soil The swamps were drained, and levees built up to keep the rivers from flooding Great fortunes were made and lost and made again on the new Delta cotton plantations It was a fickle, demanding crop that promised to make you richif the weather cooperated, and the levee held back the high water, and the dreaded boll weevil didnt infest the fields, and overproduction didnt sink the price Lebanese, Jewish, and Chinese merchants arrived Italian peasants were imported as farm labor, but didnt take to it Black sharecroppers did most of the work and lived in dire poverty, as the white planters established a flamboyant quasi aristocracy that was heavily dependent on credit at the bank The ravages of malaria continued into the 1940s, and during bad outbreaks, a Delta planter might propose marriage to his belle by saying, Miss Lucy, may I have the honor of buying your coffin I MET UP with Martha in Greenwood, once the bustling, thriving, self proclaimed Cotton Capital of the World Now, like all Delta towns, it was in decline and losing population We stayed up late drinking bourbon, and she told me about the wonderfully eccentric places she was going to take me The next morning she showed up with a sausage and biscuit sandwich made by her husband Donald, a baker, and announced that my long awaited Delta tour was canceled Im too hungover, she said Well go to Pluto instead And dont give me any lip or Ill dump you in Tchula It was a heartbreakingly gorgeous spring day We drove south on Highway 49 with red tailed hawks wheeling overhead, wildflowers everywhere, the light slanting down through the clouds in ladders Big hopping vultures were eating a road killed dog by a road sign pointing to a town called Egypt A few miles down the road, vultures, another dead dog Then a road killed armadillo Then a road killed coyote Mississippi calls itself the Magnolia State, and the Hospitality State It could also claim the Loose Dog State, the Roadkill State, and the Dreamland of Highway Vultures In the cratered little town of Tchula, black men were standing around in a derelict gas station, drinking 40 ounce beers and smoking cigarettes Behind them was a big red hand painted sign that said NO LOITERING People wandered in and out of the road without much regard for traffic An unaccompanied infant toddled along through the roadside grit There were swaybacked trailers, and listing shacks with sheets of plastic on the roof to keep the rain out, among neat little houses with well kept lawns Hard eyed young men cruised up and down in flashy new cars and trucks In a mile we passed seven or eight churches Drugs, religion, and welfare appeared to be the cornerstones of the local economy South of Tchula, in the tiny hamlet of Mileston, Martha turned off the highway onto a dirt track She drove past a small scruffy shack to an even smaller, scruffier shack This is Miss Pats, she said Her real name is Willie Ruth She used to have a sign saying Pats Kitchen, but it was making too much business, so she took it down She does a plate lunch with fried chicken, three vegetables, cornbread, sweet tea and dessert, all for six bucks I ate here every day when I was pregnant Miss Pat was a slow moving, unflappable black woman with a bad knee and a kerchief tied around her head Her customers were tractor drivers, farm hands, railroad workers, home health nurses with elaborate hairdos, picking up lunches to go They spoke with a deep, thick, slurred accent, almost a dialect It omitted so many consonants that I could barely understand it, and Martha had to quietly translate when it came time for me to order I thought back to Indian reservations in South Dakota, the street gangs I had written about in South Central Los Angeles, poor whites in rural Appalachia In none of those places did I feel like such an outsider, or have such trouble with basic communication It added to the mounting impression that I had entered another country The air was heavy and still, with a metallic drone of insects, a languorous melancholy, an undercurrent of racial tension beneath a guarded surface politeness There were cats everywhere, prowling after discarded chicken bones A man sat on a table, staring into the middle distance, unmoving and inscrutable We took our lunches to go, and drove along the shore of an oxbow lake Cypress trees festooned with Spanish moss grew out in the water Great blue herons and egrets flapped away Turtles plopped off logs A few miles and we reached a small cluster of big houses with lawns and flower gardens and enormous shade trees full of mockingbirds Welcome to Pluto, my favorite place on earth, said Martha, parking behind a two story gabled house that had belonged to her grandmother We sat in the deep green shade of a magnificent oak tree, eating Miss Pats crunchy succulent fried chicken, drinking wine, watching cloud formations drift across the sky, and the changing light on the fields and catfish ponds I took off my shoes and lay back in the grass, feeling relaxed for the first time in months Martha, this is just Isnt it, though The Delta is such a mess, but it puts a spell on you Ive lived in Paris, LA, Vermont, Minneapolis, and here I am, back home at last Why is it called Pluto Pluto was the Lord of the Underworld, thats the story I always heard All this was just a big, mean, hellish swamp Later that afternoon, Martha said she might as well give me a tour of Pluto She drove along a dirt road on top of a levee, passing her cousins catfish ponds, and entered some sun dappled woods hung with long tendrils of vine Eight or nine deer ran across the road We emerged a few minutes later in open fields, and drove up to a stately old house standing by itself in a grove of huge trees It had a seven columned front porch looking out over manicured lawns and ponds and flower gardens What a beautiful house, I said Its for sale, said Martha A 1910 plantation house with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, on six acres of land, I think Its my daddys house How much I said, expecting to hear a figure somewhere in advance of 400,000 Hes asking 160,000, I think, but you could probably pick it up for 130,000, said Martha What kind of shape is it in Its in great shape Daddys been fixing it up for twenty years In all my restless nomadic adult life, I had never seen a house I wanted to own, or even live in for an extended period of time Mortgages had always scared me Id never aspired to own property, because it meant getting trapped in one place In twenty two years, I had changed my address eighteen times I was a wanderer, a drifter, forever passing through, taking notes, and moving on Thats what I told myself as Martha opened the front door and took me inside The rooms were large with wooden floors and a sturdy old fashioned elegance There was a six sided dining room with glass fronted cabinets, a farmhouse kitchen, a study with a built in gun rack, open fireplaces in most of the rooms Behind the house were extensive vegetable gardens, fruit trees, muscadine grapevines, a fenced in dog run that was eight times larger than our New York apartment There was a two acre horse pasture with a barn, and nestled into a stand of bamboo was a small, compact studio that looked ideal for writing Is it safe here I asked You need a dog and a gun, said Martha You might get a crackhead looking for something to steal, or a meth head coming through to poach deer or party on the lake An alligator might show up when the waters high Thats the Yazoo River down through those trees, and thatd be your property line That night, while the frogs and insects worked up a sawing rhythmic music, and we sat drinking bourbon under the stars, I couldnt stop thinking about that old house down the levee I pictured myself reading William Faulkner on the front porch, writing in the studio, Mariah working happily in the garden Wed be able to grow our own vegetables, and harvest figs, pears, apples, persimmons, muscadines, and pecans Maybe I could start hunting deer and putting meat on the table, if I could overcome my aversion to killing animals Martha and her cousins would be just down the road Wed wake up listening to birdsong instead of traffic roar and jackhammers Wed never hear a police siren Id been toying with the idea of living in Mississippi, and writing about it, for a long time I liked the food, the music, the warmth of the culture, the easy conviviality and drawling repartee Most of all, I liked the storytelling It was an integral part of life here, an art form respected at all levels of society, and the stories themselves got so wild and improbable They burned with a strange fever, and made a mockery of the usual standards of cause and effect They were a window into a place and a culture where contradictions hung in the air like swamp gas, and eccentricity was as natural as rain Lyndon Johnson said, Theres America, theres the South, then theres Mississippi To which Martha Foose added, And then theres the Delta You have no idea what youre getting into down here, and thats what makes it so perfect Ill work on Daddy You get back up there and work on Mariah Were going to be neighbors, and youre going to write a book about the whole thing.The truest book about the Mississippi Delta since Rising Tide Tony Horwitz, author of Confederates in the Attic Grant succeeds, and with flair His empathic manner, reportorial talent and eye for the unexpected detail make this a chigger bitten trip that entertains as much as it informs The New York Times Book ReviewGrant takes a fillet knife and lays us open to the bone, like you might a catfish He exposes our idiosyncratic insanity and brilliance, both the failure and the promise that are driven by an intimate yet remote love hate relationship along the racial divide Its sad and beautiful at the same time Mississippi State Senator John HorhnReaders with an appetite for a deep fried version of A Year in Provence will find much to sate them here Grant is like a deeper and way funkier version of Peter Mayle its the individual voices and anecdotes he records that give Dispatches from Pluto its dissonant lilt and outr charm Jonathan Miles, Garden GunOne of the best books to have been written about this part of Mississippi Richard Grant has done something completely different from previous forays into this fascinating and frequently vilified part of America Grants book strikes a good balance between being partly A Year in Provence, Mississippi style, and partly a searching investigation of the local culture .This is a man who has done his homework, asked hard questions, and made a point of getting to know everybody, white and black alike The New CriterionThis books great virtueis how it sets aside assumptions to look with clear, questioning eyes Mississippis landscape, with its crated little town s and primordial interruptions in the empire of modern agriculture, is refreshed by Grants lovely prose Jackson Clarion LedgerPart travelogue, part sociological study, part memoir, and part nonfiction heir to the works of William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams, Dispatches from Pluto is provocative in the best kind of way Grant approaches his subjects with empathy, yet pulls no punches The result is an honest, engaging account of life in one of Americas most beguiling, bewildering cultural outposts This book is a revelation Alan Huffman, author of Mississippi in AfricaAn appealing stew of fecklessness and curiosity, social psychology and social dysfunction, hope and despair Kirkus Reviews A delightful inside look at life on todays Mississippi Delta Frans De Waal, one of his 6 favorite books in The WeekGrant writes with an admiration and tenderness for his new home and neighbors The books often riotously funny, particularly when describing real life crime stories in Greenwood and elsewhere But Grants also thoughtful and earnest in trying to understand race relations in modern day Mississippi Grants insights as an outsider trying to decipher a new world make this book compelling and also challenging Hes confronting tough truths and asking hard questions, but from a place of genuine respect and love Mississippi Business Journal New Horizons NASA New launched on Jan , and conducted a six month long reconnaissance flyby study of Pluto its moons in summer culminating with closest approach July Russell s teapot Wikipedia Russell is an analogy, formulated by the philosopher Bertrand to illustrate that philosophic burden proof lies upon person making unfalsifiable claims, rather than shifting disproof others specifically applied his analogy context religion He wrote if he were assert, without offering proof, teapot, too KMK No Ttg Klasifikasi Rumah Sakit Scribd KMK Download as PDF Filepdf or read online Richard E Grant Early life was born Richard Esterhuysen Mbabane, SwazilandHe son Leonne Henrik Esterhuysen, who head education for British government administration Protectorate Swaziland has English, Dutch Afrikaner, German ancestry As boy, went primary school at St Mark s, local Mbabane had only Dispatches from Lost Found Mississippi Dispatches Delta FREE shipping qualifying offers Winner Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Bestseller The Clarion Ledger A York Times In Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta (English Edition)


    • Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta (English Edition)
    • 2.1
    • 96
    • Format Kindle
    • 321 pages
    • Richard Grant
    • Anglais
    • 07 March 2018

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