âOf course, thereâs also Gusâs Fried Chicken. And, of course, we have a whole lot more work to do on a lot of fronts. Snag a seat at the counter of this tiny diner, open since 1924, and treat yourself to made-from-scratch chicken and dumplings, turnip greens, and fried dill pickles, a Delta classic.
Naturally, Julia soon bounced back into the finest fettle and the weekend proved a roller coaster adventure of hospitality and discovery, as I met many of the local tastemakers and characters who made Julia’s life in the city such enthralling grist to her literary mill. The Delta staple is widely available at restaurants and roadside stands up and down the river. '” We almost fell over we started laughing so hard. Reed will also appear at the Mississippi Book Festival on August 18 in conversation with Garden & Gun editor David DiBenedetto at 12:00 p.m. at the Galloway Fellowship Center. There are plenty (of essays) about Mississippi, and especially about the Delta, since that’s always been “home” to me. With her ‘tsunami of talent, charm, and energy,” she was, as the historian Jon Meacham noted in a tribute in the magazine Garden & Gun (of which Julia was a pillar), “the best kind of Southerner, the kind that turns the bittersweet experience of growing up there, of having deep roots there, into an education for us all in tolerance, humor, and understanding.”. Well, as I said,, we’ve long had more than enough reason to laugh at ourselves, so it’s a useful skill to have. I went everywhere from Los Angeles to London to Paris to Manila to Moscow and Kabul. During the festival, itâs celebrated with a cook-off, eating contest, and pageant, as well as discussion panels on local and regional food, literature, and music. In addition to writing for Garden & Gun, she contributes to Veranda and the Wall Street Journal‘s WSJ magazine. I cover everything from Scotch whiskey to the lowly possum and a lot of stuff in between: our food, our music, our fun-loving proclivities, our tendency toward committing a whole lot of mayhem in the name of the Lord. Vogue may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. King Museum in Indianola,â she says, âand the Grammy Museum is in Cleveland. I swear it was like heaven. Food tells you everything you want to know about a place.â. As for how far we have to go, Mississippi has done a pretty good job lately at facing down some our more shameful and horrific ghosts. Everybody buys their wedding presents there.
âThere are very few times when Iâm not on the road,â says Julia Reed. Or you could hit the Rendezvous across the street from the Peabody for some barbecue, and youâd be in good shape,â she says. âWe call it the literary-culinary mash-up,â says Reed. And I saws many, many miles of America on various presidential campaign buses and trains. Heading to the Delta?
Mississippi’s Julia Reed, a columnist and author of six previous books, has blessed her fans with yet another salute to the South, this time with South Toward Home: Adventures and Misadventures in My Native Land, a collection of essays culled from “The High & the Low,” her regular column in Garden & Gun magazine. Do you have other writing projects in mind at this time?
It’s like not knowing what real Chinese food tastes like until you finally go to Chinatown–or something like that. Ad Choices.
This article appears in our Fall/Winter 2018Â issue ofÂ Southbound. Seize the moment.
The humor in your writing is unmistakable, and it gives a lighthearted nudge to encourage fellow Southerners to laugh at themselves while considering a wide and diverse range of topics in South Toward Home–including the use of grits as a weapon, the mixture of lust and politics, and the merits of taxidermy, to name a few. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. During that heyday of journalism, talented reporters came from all over the country to work for Hodding Carter. I will still keep my treehouse of an apartment in the Garden District of New Orleans. But I am indeed building a house in Greenville that is almost finished. Her time at Madeira became the basis for two essays in South Toward Home, subtly named “Grace Under Pressure” and “Good Country, Bad Behavior.” Those essays, she explains, are about her high school years at the school and “and about how my murderous (true story) headmistress inadvertently kick-started my journalist career.” Other essays tend more toward the familiar, and cover such Southern topics as alligator hunting, summer camp, and the Delta Hot Tamale Festival. In fact, she just put the finishing touches on a second residence adjacent to the house in which she was raised.
Julia had recently opened a bookshop, Brownwater Books, in Wetherbee House, a historic cottage in downtown Greenville, and started a new venture – Reed Smythe & Company – with her friend Keith Meacham to showcase and sell the work of southern artists and artisans.
Farther south, in Reedâs hometown of Greenville, her culinary hit list includes Doeâs Eat Place for fried shrimpââthe best in the worldââand Jimâs Cafe (662-332-5951) for homemade biscuits and preserves.
A Greenville native, Reed left her hometown at 16 to attend Madeira School in McLean, Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C., then went on to Georgetown University and American University. As if to illustrate the point: Sheâs pausing for this interview while on a whirlwind tour promoting her fifth book, South Toward Home, a collection of wry essays chronicling the people, places, and traditions of the South. One of my favorite drives remains that route from Memphis, much of which is on Old Highway One, the road that hugs the river parallel to Highway 61. By the time I arrived at Vogue in 1992, Julia was an established pillar of the magazine, having profiled such eclectic subjects as First Lady Barbara Bush (whom she had known as a child; Julia’s father Clarke Reed had been the state chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party for a decade from 1966), a new generation of “Kennedy women,” the designers Oscar de la Renta and Bill Blass (whose clothes she wore), Ambassador Pamela Harriman, Robert de Niro, Barbara Walters and Barbra Streisand, among many others. “There are very few times when I’m not on the road,” says Julia Reed. I can hardly wait to be in there with my hound dog Henry. Life is pretty funny, and laughter is really, really good for you. Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén, South Toward Home: Adventures and Misadventures in My Native Land, Picking Their Brains: ‘Unthinkable’ by Helen Thomson, Ed Scott’s story in Julian Rankin’s ‘Catfish Dream’ is essential and hopeful reading. In the fall, thereâs a series of blues festivals in almost every little town, from Hollandale to Leland to Gunnison, so youâre bound to hit one.â, For Reed, the open road is familiar terrain. She was 59. I have a baseball cap that says, “American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God.” It was given to me as a joke, but it’s sort of on the money.
Small wonder that the writer Jay McInerney described her as “Mississippi’s answer to Dorothy Parker.”. The first day set the tone when I arrived from the airport to a midday lunch at the storied restaurant Galatoire’s. In view from her kitchen window: the pasture where her childhood horses grazed. Julia Reed will be at Lemuria on Wednesday, August 8, at 5:00 p.m. to sign and read from South Toward Home: Adventures and Misadventures in My Native Land. I thought everybody was funny until I left home, and then, sadly, I found out otherwise. Get in the car and drive.â, Since 2013, Julia Reed has been instrumental in planning and promoting the Delta Hot Tamale Festival (October 18â20, 2018), an annual convergence of hot tamale makers and Southern chefs, writers, and artists in Greenville, Mississippi. I never have more fun than when Iâm in the Delta.â, And sharing the adventure with longtime friendsâor relative strangersâonly adds to the experience.
Her time at Madeira became the basis for two essays in South Toward Home, subtly named “Grace Under Pressure” and “Good Country, Bad Behavior.” But we should not allow ourselves to get complacent on that subject, ever.
If I wrote that as fiction everyone would say it was too over the top.
With a foreword by Jon Meacham, the book earns points for Reed’s role as “one of the country’s most astute and insightful chroniclers of the things that matter most.”. As my friend Anne McGee said at the time, “That gives some new urgency to the phrase ‘Shake a leg.
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