Horry and the Waccamaw

Franklin Burroughs, Author W. W. Norton & Company $19.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-393-03083-9
In this vivid account of a six-day, 150-mile canoe trip he made in 1985 on the Waccamaw River in his South Carolina stomping ground of Horry County, Burroughs ( Billy Watson's Croker Sack ) offers more than a paddle through shallow water. Discoursing on the region's history and culture, he portrays an area, defined largely by its backwater topography of swampland and piney woods, that produced a separate variety of Southern culture marked by independence, simplicity and a Huck Finn kind of poverty. Following in the wake of his inspiration, Nathaniel Holmes Bishop's The Voice of the Paper Canoe (1878), Burroughs tries to find the old culture on a rapidly changing riverside. Sketches of skilled backwoodsman Thomas Spivey, persevering writer/planter Elizabeth Alston Pringle and others met along the way are charming and revealing. This is a jewel of a book, a well-baited hook for those who rue a world too fast a-changing. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
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