Back Home: Journeys Through Mobile (Paperback)

Journeys Through Mobile

By Roy Hoffman

University of Alabama Press, 9780817354312, 380pp.

Publication Date: February 15, 2007

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Description

After twenty years in New York City, a prize-winning writer takes a "long look back" at his hometown of Mobile, Alabama.
In Back Home: Journeys through Mobile, Roy Hoffman tells stories through essays, feature articles, and memoir of one of the South's oldest and most colorful port cities. Many of the pieces here grew out of Hoffman's work as Writer-in-Residence for his hometown newspaper, the Mobile Register, a position he took after working in New York City for twenty years as a journalist, fiction writer, book critic, teacher, and speech writer. Other pieces were first published in the New York Times, Southern Living, Preservation, and other publications. Together, this collection comprises a long, second look at the Mobile of Hoffman's childhood and the city it has since become.
Like a photo album, Back Home presents close-up portraits of everyday places and ordinary people. There are meditations on downtown Mobile, where Hoffman's grandparents arrived as immigrants a century ago; the waterfront where longshoremen labor and shrimpers work their nets; the back roads leading to obscure but intriguing destinations. Hoffman records local people telling their own tales of race relations, sports, agriculture, and Mardi Gras celebrations. Fishermen, baseball players, bakers, authors, political figures--a strikingly diverse population walks across the stage of Back Home.
Throughout, Hoffman is concerned with stories and their enduring nature. As he writes, "When buildings are leveled, when land is developed, when money is spent, when our loved ones pass on, when we take our places a little farther back every year on the historical time-line, what we have still are stories."



About the Author

Roy Hoffman is author of the novels Almost Family, winner of the Lillian Smith Award for fiction, and Chicken Dreaming Corn, a BookSense pick endorsed by Harper Lee. He is author of two essay collections, Back Home: Journeys Through Mobile and Alabama Afternoons: Profiles and Conversations, and his articles and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Fortune, Southern Living, and the Mobile Press-Register, where he was a long-time staff writer. A graduate of Tulane University who worked as a journalist and speechwriter in New York City before moving back south to Fairhope, Ala., he received the Clarence Cason Award in nonfiction from the University of Alabama and is on the faculty of the Spalding Brief Residency MFA in Writing Program. On the web: www.Facebook.com/RoyHoffmanWriter "


Praise For Back Home: Journeys Through Mobile

"A fine and illuminating portrait of a fine old interesting city."—Winston Groom

"Writing in a style that is eloquent and clear, Roy Hoffman offers an affectionate portrait of one of the most storied cities in the South. This is an engaging piece of journalism from a writer who understands and embraces the larger possibilities of his craft."—Frye Gaillard

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