Archive for the 'books' Category

Faye Gibbons celebrates literary legacy of Sue Pickett

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016 by Lisa Harrison

The Path was Steep by Suzanne PickettOne NewSouth author pays homage to another in the current issue of Alabama Heritage magazine. Faye Gibbons, author of the young adult novel Halley, penned a beautiful appreciation of Suzanne Pickett, whose memoir The Path Was Steep: A Memoir of Appalachian Coal Camps During the Great Depression was rereleased by NewSouth Books in 2013. Gibbons writes that though Pickett worked as a newspaper writer, “her memoir offers the most endearing insight into her life and the lives of others who survived during the Depression.”

Gibbons is no stranger to hard times herself, having grown up in a large Appalachian farm family and lived in mill towns in Georgia. Her article follows Suzanne Pickett from her birth in a mining family to her marriage to a miner, David Pickett. Struggling to survive the Depression, the family moved to follow jobs, and tried farming. Sue landed a newspaper job for a brief time that helped to supplement income. Even after her husband landed a more secure job, Pickett continued to write, producing plays for local students and short stories. She then went on to write the memoir that Gibbons says “captures the Depression in all its misery and shows how one family was able to endure hardships.” Adds Gibbons, “Even at a time when few women in her circumstances had literary ambitions, Suzanne Pickett was able to use words to create a compelling portrait of a formative time in our history.”

Suzanne Pickett

Suzanne Pickett

Halley and The Path Was Steep are available from NewSouth Books or your favorite bookstore.

Harper Lee remembered by Bob Zellner

Monday, February 22nd, 2016 by Suzanne La Rosa

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Bob Zellner, civil and human rights organizer and NewSouth Books author of The Wrong Side of Murder Creek, offers a personal reflection on the passing of literary great Harper Lee, who died on February 19; she was 89.

A great Alabamian has died. When I first read Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, I could tell the author was a Southerner by her description of the cordite smell of green pecan hulls and the indelible green stain they leave when crushed by young bare feet.

It also reminded me of the time when I got my first BB gun. Daddy sternly admonished me never to aim at anything I did not intend to kill. Especially, he warned, do not kill a mockingbird. Walking outside with my birthday gun in the spring of 1945 I saw a mockingbird perched in the top of a bush way over there in the back yard. Thinking I could not possibly hit a swaying bird with my very first shot, I aimed and pulled the trigger. To my absolute horror the bird slowly toppled to the ground and lay perfectly still. Not even considering a cover up, I rushed over and cupped the warm carcass in my hand, walked back in the house, and showed it to Daddy, knowing he was going to tear me up as only a Southern Methodist preacher could whip a willful six-year-old. Teacher, pastor and father in one package, the Rev. James Abraham Zellner taught me a good lesson that day. Maybe a God lesson. “I’m not going to whip you today, Bobby,” he said, “because you have just proved the wisdom of what I told you. You’ll remember this your whole life: Never kill a mockingbird.”

Harper Lee’s classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, was one of hope, young hope. Her last, Go Set a Watchman, a sad acknowledgment of the incredible power of racial hate in my home state of Alabama, reveals that Atticus was a Kluxer. She gives us one more reminder about how America, especially the American South, has yet to confront, admit, and rectify the original sin of legal racialism enshrined in its founding documents — African Americans were three fifths of a person.

When President Barack Obama won in 2008 only 11 percent of Alabama white voters could bring themselves to pull the lever enabling a black man and his family to move into the White House. So maybe it’s fitting that Atticus Finch — a huge hero in the early sixties for mounting a tepid and legally flawed defense of a black man in a Southern court — turned out to be a stone racist.

No wonder the South, as revealed by the Presidential campaign, is still the most reliable exponent of racial extremism. Are we indelibly stained by green pecan shells and the rank odor of racism or will poor and working class Southern whites finally scrub out that damned spot? We must stop voting against our own economic interests. Rich white people, “one percenters,” may indeed profit from racism, but poor and working class Southerners never have and never will. We have, along with black people, been grievously wounded by our racist practices. I believe that Harper Lee, and all the progressive folks who surrounded and sustained her, would agree with me that sisterhood and brotherhood is not so wild a dream as those who profit by postponing it pretend.

Bob Zellner, SNCC/NAACP

Bob Zellner’s memoir The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement is available in print and ebook from NewSouth Books or your favorite bookstore.

Randall Williams remembers author, friend Wade Hall

Thursday, October 1st, 2015 by Lisa Harrison

Wade HallNewSouth Books co-founder and editor in chief Randall Williams eulogized his friend author Wade Hall, who passed away on September 26, in an article for the Montgomery Advertiser. NewSouth Books published five titles by Hall: Conecuh People: Words of Life from the Alabama Black Belt, An Interview with Abraham Lincoln, Waters of Life from the Conecuh Ridge: The Clyde May Story, Reflections of the Civil War in Southern Humor, and The Outrageous Times of Larry Bruce Mitchell. Due out in spring 2016: Greetings from Alabama: A Pictorial History in Vintage Postcards, which showcases 400 plus postcards from a large bequest Hall made to the University of Alabama Libraries. Hall’s many gifts as scholar, writer, educator, and philanthropist are warmly recounted in Williams’s piece.

Louisville NPR station WFPL also noted Hall’s passing and praised him as a teacher and scholar. Charles Whaley, former Courier-Journal education editor, told the paper, “Through his work with and advocacy of Kentucky poets and writers Wade Hall established himself as a centrifugal force for literature in Kentucky and the South.”

Conecuh People: Words of Life from the Alabama Black Belt. An Interview with Abraham Lincoln, Waters of Life from the Conecuh Ridge: The Clyde May Story, Reflections of the Civil War in Southern Humor, and The Outrageous Times of Larry Bruce Mitchell are all available from NewSouth Books or your favorite bookstore.

Forsaken by Ross Howell Jr.: in anticipation of Feb. 2016 release, book appearances, book trailers, more

Monday, September 28th, 2015 by Lisa Harrison

Forsaken: A Novel by Ross Howell Jr.February 2016 isn’t far off, at least in book publishing terms. With the release of Forsaken around the corner, the hard work of promoting the book begins.

For author Ross Howell Jr., this includes a book tour before his official book tour, which started with his appearance last weekend at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance big fall conference — SIBA’s 40th. Ross Howell Jr. signed advance reading copies of Forsaken for dozens of booksellers in attendance, stopping long enough to have his photo taken with long-time SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell — the creative force behind the organization — and also Kathy Giuffre, author of The Drunken Spelunker’s Guide to Plato, also at the show promoting her book. From SIBA, Howell travels to the NAIBA and NEIBA conferences, in the mid-Atlantic and northeast, where he will meet more bookstore buyers and managers and talk up Forsaken.

Forsaken author Ross Howell Jr and SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell celebrates SIBA's 40th anniversary
Forsaken author Ross Howell Jr and The Drunken Spelunker's Guide to Plato author Kathy Giuffre

Top: Forsaken author Ross Howell Jr. and SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell celebrate SIBA’s 40th anniversary; bottom: Howell and The Drunken Spelunker’s Guide to Plato author Kathy Giuffre.

Two book trailers also announce the release of Forsaken and speak to the book’s powerful underlying history. The first generally introduces the story of the sensational crime committed by Virginia Christian, a young black girl who, in 1912 Hampton Roads, Virginia, was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the electric chair. She was the only female juvenile to be executed in the history of the state. In the second, Ross Howell, Jr. speaks to Dr. Derryn Moten, whose dissertation of twenty years ago inspired the writing of Forsaken.

The trailers also share early praise received by the book. Author Minrose Gwin calls it “a haunting, riveting work of fiction that raises very contemporary questions about the racial politics of justice.” Jennie Fields adds, “A deep and powerful discourse on racism and redemption, Forsaken and the characters who live and breathe within its pages will not be soon forgotten. Not since Atticus Finch have we met a character spun from the threads of integrity as beautifully as Charlie Mears in Ross Howell Jr.’s exquisite novel.”

Last, a newly developed reading group guide, suitable for teachers, is now available.

Forsaken will be available from NewSouth Books or your favorite bookstore in February, 2016.

Tavis Smiley Show hosts Clifton Taulbert to discuss memoir, The Invitation

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 by Blair Johnson

The Invitation by Clifton Taulbert

Radio host and commentator Tavis Smiley interviewed Clifton Taulbert, bestselling author of titles including the award-winning Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored, in early June in connection with Taulbert’s new memoir, The Invitation.

In a smart and engaging interview that you’ll wish lasted longer than its nine minutes, Smiley draws Taulbert into candid discussion about his transformative experience in South Carolina as chronicled in The Invitation. The book recounts Taulbert’s invitation to dinner at a former plantation house, about which he was immediately apprehensive, sharply evoking memories of his childhood as the son of a sharecropping family. Taulbert recounts how upon seeing the old South Carolina plantation surrounded by acres of cotton, he was immediately transported back to his days as a child in Mississippi. “[I felt] the weight of the segregated South on my shoulders as I sat in this car in the twenty-first century,” Taulbert told Smiley.

Taulbert discloses that it took him seven years to write The Invitation as he had to become “very, very honest, open, and vulnerable” with himself. “I had to say, ‘Yeah, I’ve taught at Harvard University, I’ve taught at the Air Force Academy . . . but I’ve also picked cotton, I’ve also slept on a cot that was so small you could fall off of it.'” As he describes to Smiley and also discusses in The Invitation, there is never a moment in which “the lessons of race and place” are not present. Taulbert explains that as a professional man he is proud of his accomplishments and intellectually understands that the world has changed, and for the better. But there’s a daily emotional adjustment to past history that’s required — even when (or maybe especially when) he is as graciously received as he was in South Carolina.

To listen to the entire interview, visit The Tavis Smiley Show’s website.

Clifton Taulbert’s The Invitation is available from NewSouth Books, Amazon, or your favorite bookstore.

NewSouth Books Remembers Virginia Pounds Brown

Friday, June 20th, 2014 by Blair Johnson

Virginia Pounds Brown

On May 26, 2014, NewSouth Books lost a longtime friend and beloved author, Virginia Pounds Brown. Although we will miss her in our books family, we will always remember her as a woman who was lively and engaged into her nineties and a very fine writer. Brown was a Birmingham native, a writer as well as a publisher and a bookstore owner, and a well known and respected authority on Native American, especially Creek Indian, history.

Brown’s obituary in The Birmingham News quotes her: “My writing career started when a German scientist working in Huntsville, walked into the bookstore looking for an ‘easy reading’ book about Alabama for relatives in Germany. We didn’t have such a book, but out of that request came Alabama Mounds to Missiles, an answer to his need. The success of the book turned a budding interest into the pursuit of discovering and writing about previously ignored or unknown facets of Alabama and southern history – mostly blacks, Indians, women.” Her desire to tell the untold stories of those who had been ignored realized itself in her many historical books.

NewSouth Books’s titles authored by Brown include The Gold Disc of Coosa (2004), a fictional account for middle-school aged children of the meeting between De Soto and the Alabama Indians, and two classics of Native American history:The World of Southern Indians: Tribes, Leaders, and Customs from Prehistoric Times to the Present (2011) and its companion title, the more recent Southern Indian Myths and Legends (Spring 2014). NewSouth also published Brown’s Mother & Me: An Intimate Memoir of Her Last Years (2003).

NewSouth Books will publish a fifth work by Brown, posthumously, which is co-authored by Linda McNair Cohen. Drawing By Stealth: John Trumbull and the Creek Indians will be released as an ebook in fall 2014. The book is a historical account of John Trumbull, an American artist during the period of the Revolutionary War and painter of two portraits of George Washington, and his encounter and subsequent drawings of the Creek Indians who fascinated him, just like they did Brown. NewSouth looks forward to publishing Drawing By Stealth in celebration of Virginia Pounds Brown’s lifetime of good work, passion for books, and our long friendship with her.

The works of Virginia Pounds Brown are available from NewSouth Books, Amazon, or your favorite bookstore.

Announcing South, America, Rod Davis’s latest New Orleans noir mystery

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 by Brian Seidman

South, America by Rod DavisAuthor Rod Davis won a PEN Southwest Fiction Award for his debut novel Corina’s Way, set in New Orleans and starring the unforgettable voudou priestess Corina Youngblood. In Davis’s newest novel, South, America, he returns to the Big Easy and introduces a dynamic new leading man, Jack Prine.

South, America opens as Prine discovers a murder victim and finds himself drawn into a web of violence threatening the victim’s beautiful sister. They begin a dangerous, desperate flight through Alabama, the Delta, and back to New Orleans searching and evading button men, goons, and racial violence. Deadly ties extend to the Dixie Mafia, priceless stolen art, and debased Southern aristocracy. In a a final, startling showdown in the Arts District, no one’s survival is guaranteed.

Gerald Duff, author of Fire Ants, writes about South, America in the Southern Literary Review, that “What Rod Davis tackles masterfully in this faux hard-boiled mystery is the capturing in a simple plot of murder, investigation, solution, and deserved punishment of the essential truths of what it is to be born, nurtured, schooled, and acclimated to existence in the American South. [Jack Prine’s] struggle to understand the nature of where he truly lives provides this powerfully fascinating novel with energy, soul, and a hope that he’ll return in another narrative to treat further what he calls ‘the hard shadowed streets of the Vieux Carre, the American landfall for the fallen.'”

Novelist and reviewer Si Dunn calls South, America a “gritty, well-written new mystery novel … an engrossing tale alive with Southern landscape, thugs, family secrets, voudou, art treasures, racial tensions, sex … and love.”

Both reviewers express their enthusiasm for the next Jack Prine novel, already in the planning.

Davis’s book tour for South, America is just beginning, with an appearance at the well-known Louie’s bar in Dallas, TX, on June 12 from 6-7:30. Also look for Rod Davis and author Tony Zigal at an event called “Hard Side of the Big Easy: Crime Noir and Katrina” at Malvern Books in Austin, TX, on June 27.

South, America is available in paperback and ebook from NewSouth Books, Amazon, or your favorite bookstore.

Julie Williams’s “secret” service: author avoids spilling beans to Laura Bush that both were winners of Ella Dickey Award

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 by Lisa Harrison
Author Julie Williams (A Rare Titanic Family) and former First Lady Laura Bush, winners of the Ella Dickey Literacy Award at the 2014 Cherry Blossom Festival in Marshfield, Mo.

Author Julie Williams sent this missive from her recent appearance at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Marshfield, Mo.

It’s darn hard for a reporter to keep a secret.

True, 100 percent of journalists will be asked to keep something off the record, and generally 99 percent of them will do so. But when the secret involves yourself, it’s another matter entirely.

I write this from the tiny town of Marshfield, Mo., population about 4,000. And yet the town every year invites celebrities and historic figures — and people like me — to the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. This year the Cherry Blossom Committee somehow got hold of my book, A Rare Titanic Family, read it, liked it, and contacted me with the information that I had won the festival’s Ella Dickey Literacy Award. The award honors books that have preserved history.

I had never heard of the festival so asked politely where it was. When I was told it was in Marshfield, Mo., I Googled the town and found it wasn’t all that far from my two sisters’ homes. “How nice that a little town wants to give me an award.” I thought naively. “I guess I’ll accept, since maybe I can see my sisters when I’m up there.”

And then the e-mails and Facebook posts started pouring in about the Cherry Blossom Festival. Descendants of presidents would be there. Stars of The Andy Griffith Show would be there (some of them, anyway), as well as some stars of The Waltons. Queen Elizabeth’s cousin would be there, too. Rev. Billy Graham’s daughter would lead the Prayer Breakfast, and Laura Bush, the former first lady, would speak.

As I found out purely by chance, six of us would share the Ella Dickey Award, including Laura Bush.

Having learned much about PR and advertising as a practical matter of publicizing my books, I did a dance about this unique publicity opportunity. I’d tell the world in a press release that I’d won the same award as Laura Bush!

“Oh, don’t do that!” Nicholas Inman begged. Inman is the organizer of this festival, an aficionado of the presidents and celebrities who is fearless about contacting people in those lines of work and persuading them to come to Marshfield. “Mrs. Bush doesn’t know she’s won the award yet.”

Thus began the weeks-long process of biting my lip to keep that secret. Loose lips sink ships, you know. But it was excruciatingly hard.

I at least consoled myself that Mrs. Bush and I would be standing on the same platform with the same medal draped around our necks, and our picture would therefore be taken together.

“No,” Inman said sadly. “Mrs. Bush can’t be there for the award ceremony. She’s flying in to speak at a gala dinner after your ceremony, and she won’t get her award till then.” Aha! That explained why she didn’t know about the award — and wouldn’t till she got there.

He brightened up and added, “But you’re welcome to come to the gala dinner!”

The dinner cost $150, which is certainly not the kind of thing I normally find in my meager wallet. I told that to Inman, who had a great idea. “Say! You teach journalism!” he said. “Why don’t you apply for press credentials to cover Laura Bush!”

What a great idea! The Crimson was good enough to place me on staff and assign me the story as a faculty profile piece. Now I could get in to Laura Bush’s event! Even better, Inman pulled some strings so I could have my picture taken one on one with Laura Bush by a professional photographer.

Dennis Jones, my colleague in the JMC Department, is retiring, and I had to ditch his retirement party in order to cover Laura Bush. He said, “Tell Laura for me that I love her.”

“I will, Dennis,” I promised.

As I found out quickly, the Secret Service was wound up tighter than a top and ready to spring into action. It made me feel slightly guilty somehow in everything I did. I was supposed to turn my camera in to be vetted, apparently to make sure it was not booby-trapped, but the very hour the camera was to go to the Secret Service, I was in my award ceremony. My camera stayed with me — it’s rude to run out on one’s own award ceremony, after all. That meant I wouldn’t be taking any photos myself.

At least, I told myself, I’d have my picture professionally taken with the former first lady.

I trekked through rain and then hail to the community building behind the local high school, where the Secret Service was letting in a few people at a time for the photo op with Mrs. Bush. A Belgian shepherd police dog stood in the door, making sure everyone behaved.

I stood in line behind Jim-Bob from The Waltons and had no trouble talking to him at all. It’s trendy here for all award-winners to wear their medals, and he politely commented on my medal, and I chatted with him and found out what he’s up to — he doesn’t act any more and doesn’t recommend it.

Then it was my turn. Laura Bush, graciously smiling for the endless string of well-wishers and remaining perfectly coiffed in spite of the hail, her pink dress and pearls looking not a millimeter out of place, greeted me graciously and indicated that she had noticed my medal. I started to say, “I won the same award as you, and I’m so proud of that!” when I realized she wasn’t wearing a medal and clearly hadn’t gotten hers yet. It was still a dead secret! “Don’t say it!” I screamed to myself.

As I was already halfway through the sentence, I croaked out, “I won an award.” What a stupid thing to say!

I sought to salvage the moment by adding, “My colleague Dennis Jones is retiring, and his retirement wish was that I give you the message that he loves you.” Just at that moment, the professional photographer said, “Smile!” and we turned to face the camera with a smile.

The light flashed, and Laura Bush turned back to me and said, puzzled, “Your dentist loves me?”

So yes, I sounded like a babbling idiot to the former first lady. She was very gracious and, I reassured myself, had probably heard such babbling before.

But we got the same award. And I kept the secret. I hope that counted for something.

Read a press release from the American Journalism Historians Association about Williams’s award.

A Rare Titanic Family: The Caldwells’ Story of Survival, about relatives of Williams who survived the sinking of the Titanic and how it affected their later life, is available from NewSouth Books, Amazon, or from your favorite bookstore.

Child welfare advocate Denny Abbott tours with new book

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 by Lisa Harrison

They Had No Voice by Denny AbbottNationally recognized child welfare advocate Denny Abbott brought his story of creating positive change in the juvenile detention system to the campuses of Troy University recently in a series of lectures sponsored by the Alabama Humanities Foundation. Abbott spoke in Troy, Montgomery, and Dothan about his work on behalf of exploited children, and signed copies of his book They Had No Voice: My Fight for Alabama’s Forgotten Children.

They Had No Voice chronicles Abbott’s journey from chief probation officer of the Montgomery, Alabama County Family Court to leading advocate for children. As a court official, Abbott witnessed brutal conditions. When he could not change things from within, he sued the state and with the help of the U.S. Justice Department won a resounding victory that brought change. His talks at Troy focused on how others can continue to advocate for improvements.

According to the Dothan Eagle, Abbott focused part of his presentation on the continuing need to monitor workers who are in contact with children, saying:

“The more serious issues are those that have been festering for a long time and nobody’s really taken it on or done anything about it, either for political reasons or for personal reasons or business reasons,” he said.

He recognized the ongoing issues in Alabama, and although “hundreds of people knew about it, nobody did anything about it.”

He said employees at facilities need to be held accountable if they don’t do their job of protecting and taking care of children. “We see many, many cases where they are the offenders,” he said.

WSFA News in Montgomery spoke with a a former Juvenile Detention Center resident, who told them:

“I could barely lay down. I couldn’t eat because they wouldn’t feed ya once they beat ya. They punish you, you don’t eat either. It was horrible. It was horrible. Mr. Denny thank you, thank you.”

Through his presentations, Denny Abbott continues to educate citizens about how they can create positive change in their communities to help mistreated children.

Denny Abbott’s They Had No Voice: My Fight for Alabama’s Forgotten Children is available in print and ebook from NewSouth Books, Amazon, or your favorite bookstore.

John Pritchard talks Sailing to Alluvium, Junior Ray with Publishers Weekly

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 by Brian Seidman

Sailing to Alluvium by John PritchardPublishers Weekly has just released a great Q&A with John Pritchard, author of the “Junior Ray” books and the newly released Sailing to Alluvium. PW Southern correspondent Paige Crutcher spoke with Pritchard about the publication of his third novel, becoming a first-time author at age 65, the Mississippi Delta as a character in his novels, and how he comes up with all of Junior Ray’s expletives.

Here’s a selection from the interview:

PW: You’ve said before that when you write Junior Ray, you listen to him. Does he talk to you even when you’re not working on a book?

Oh, yes. He will not stop. Indeed I have often said that I am his stenographer. Almost anything in daily life can be viewed through Junior Ray’s perspective. And his reactions are usually unpredictable–for instance, I hypothetically took him with me to a hypothetical political rally. There we were, behind the barricades on one side of the street, facing the opposition on the other. Be mindful that Junior Ray does not know the difference between a liberal and a conservative, nor does he really care. In any case there we were, and a woman quite near us raised her fist and shouted, “Get your hands out of my uterus!” Upon which, I suppose in the spirit of solidarity, Junior Ray shouted: “Mine, too, sumbich!”

PW: Would you say that setting, The Delta, is also a character in Sailing to Alluvium?

The question says it all because of course it is the place–the Mississippi Delta–with which I am most concerned. Thus, quite literally, that place stands sine qua non as the main character in all three of Junior Ray’s books. This Delta, which is Mississippi’s Yazoo basin, bounded on the east by the bluffs of the Loess Hills and on the west by the Mississippi River, is a paradoxical bowl of ravening eccentricity dominated by an insistence on conformity and is, therefore, a place which logically cannot exist. But Deltans have never let logic stand in their way.

In short, more than race, class was paramount, and that issue is at the heart of Junior Ray’s narrational perspective. But certainly one of the great shapers of that odd land’s persona, its speech along with its food, its customs, its music, and possibly its whole way of looking at things, is in the largest of measures derived from the indisputable influence of the Delta’s African-American majority, without whom there would have been no story at all worth telling.

PW: Junior Ray was born with a mouthful of expletives, but how much of Junior Ray is in John Pritchard?

I normally do not cuss as much, except when the computer goes haywire or I can’t get the lug nuts loosened on the wheel of the car. Then I find profanity useful and, I am convinced, effective. Mainly, though, I am highly entertained by Junior Ray. He often speaks in imagistic tropes that remind me of a wonderful friend I had when I was in the Army. … His speech was colorful–intensely so, as I mentioned, and original but it was not at all that profane–“Lieutenant, I was stannin there with my tongue hangin out like a red necktie–red as a fox’s ass in poke berry time!”–and his sparkling, Zorban delight in living made an indelible impression on me …

Read “Junior Ray Returns: Q&A with John Pritchard” in full at the Publishers Weekly website.

John Pritchard’s Sailing to Alluvium is available now in hardcover and ebook from NewSouth Books, Amazon, or your favorite bookstore. His previous “Junior Ray” books, Junior Ray and The Yazoo Blues, are also available. Follow Junior Ray himself on Twitter at @JuniorRaybook.