cover image The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South

The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South

John T. Edge, read by the author. Penguin Audiobook, , unabridged, 8 CDs, 10 hrs., $45 ISBN 978-1-5247-3617-0

Edge, who serves as director of the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi, projects a relaxed yet erudite style in rendering the audio edition of his latest title, an exploration of his region’s complex—sometimes contradictory—history with food in the decades since World War II. His gentle drawl and generally leisurely pacing comes across like a conversational lecture, remaining teacherlike enough to convey the sense of someone expounding on an academic discipline. In delivering the many passages of the book tied to issues of race and ethnicity, Edge takes great pains to give divergent figures distinct voices without resorting to stock characterizations. This is no small feat, particularly given the baggage that surrounds the relationship between white and black southerners in the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow segregation. His depiction of the brave activism of civil rights pioneer Fannie Lou Hamer, who focused on agricultural justice for African-Americans in addition to her crusade for voting rights, evokes a stirring sense of time and place. A Penguin Press hardcover. (May)