In this final volume of the beloved American saga that began with All Over but the Shoutin and continued with Avas Man, Rick Bragg closes his circle of family stories with an unforgettable tale about fathers and sons inspired by his own relationship with his ten-year-old stepson.
He learns, right from the start, that a man who chases a woman with a child is like a dog who chases a car and wins. He discovers that he is unsuited to fatherhood, unsuited to fathering this boy in particular, a boy who does not know how to throw a punch and doesnt need to; a boy accustomed to love and affection rather than violence and neglect; in short, a boy wholly unlike the child Rick once was, and who longs for a relationship with Rick that Rick hasnt the first inkling of how to embark on. With the weight of this new boy tugging at his clothes, Rick sets out to understand his father, his son, and himself.
The Prince of Frogtown documents a mesmerizing journey back in time to the lush Alabama landscape of Ricks youth, to Jacksonvilles one-hundred-year-old mill, the towns blight and salvation; and to a troubled, charismatic hustler coming of age in its shadow, Ricks father, a man bound to bring harm even to those he truly loves. And the book documents the unexpected corollary to it, the marvelous journey of Ricks later life: a journey into fatherhood, and toward a child for whom he comes to feel a devotion that staggers him. With candor, insight, tremendous humor, and the remarkable gift for descriptive storytelling on which he made his name, Rick Bragg delivers a brilliant and moving rumination on the lives of boys and men, a poignant reflection on what it means to be a father and a son.
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"This book, much like his previous two memoirs, is lush with narratives about manhood, fathers and sons, families and the changing face of the rural South." - Publishers Weekly.
"A mixed bag, redeemed by the author's portrait of his father, rendered with rawboned honesty and heartache" - Kirkus Reviews.
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Rick Bragg (born 1959) was born in the small city of Piedmont in northeastern Alabama and grew up in the community of Possum
Trot near Jacksonville. He worked at several newspapers before joining the New York Times in 1994. He covered murders
and unrest in Haiti, then wrote about the Oklahoma City bombing, the Jonesboro killings, the Susan Smith
trial and more as a national correspondent based in Atlanta.
He then moved to Miami, as bureau chief, where he won the a Pulitzer for his reporting of the international controversy surrounding the cuban boy, Elián González. He left the New York Times in May 2003 after being given a two-week suspension for writing a story that primarily used the research of a stringer, causing Bragg to resign in protest.
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