Artificial Southerner (Paperback)

Equivocations and Love Songs

By Philip Martin, Martin Philip

University of Arkansas Press, 9781557287168, 206pp.

Publication Date: July 1, 2001



The Artificial Southerner tracks the manifestations and ramifications of "Southern identity" -- the relationship among a self-conscious, invented regionalism, the real distinctiveness of Southern culture, and the influence of the South in America. In these essays columnist Philip Martin explores the region and those who have both fled and embraced it. He offers lyric portraits of Southerners real, imagined, and absentee: musicians (James Brown, the Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash), writers (Richard Ford, Eudora Welty), politicians (Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter). He also considers such topics as the architecture of E. Fay Jones, the biracial nature of country music, and the idea of "white trash". "Every American has a South within", he says, "a conquered territory, an old wound . . . a scar". His work meditates on the onthe rock and roll, the literature, the life, and the love which proceed from that inner, self-created South.

About the Author

Philip Martin writes for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and is also the author of The Shortstop's Son. He has played in blues bands and picked tobacco. He lives in Little Rock, is married, and keeps three dogs.