All Over but the Shoutin'
By Rick Bragg
Bragg, a Pulitzer Prize winning correspondent, didn't start out to be a writer. In fact, he sort of fell into it. He recalls this personal journey in a rags-to-riches memoir, which begins in 1959 in Alabama, where white people had it hard and black people had it harder than that, because what are the table scraps of nothing? In vivid prose, by turns comic and affecting, he recalls growing up white and poor in the South, his difficult relationship with his abusive, alcoholic father, and his love for his courageous mother, who raised him and taught him what really mattered.