Archive for the 'Frye Gaillard' Category

Frye Gaillard adds Jefferson Cup Honor Book for Go South to Freedom, film documentary about Journey to the Wilderness to list of credits

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 by Randall Williams

Award-winning author Frye Gaillard is enjoying a banner year: his book Go South to Freedom has just been named a Jefferson Cup Honor Book for young adult readers by the Virginia Library Association. The Jefferson Cup honors a distinguished biography, work of historical fiction or American history book for young people. Presented since 1983, the Jefferson Cup Committee’s goal is to promote reading about America’s past; to encourage the quality writing of United States history, biography, and historical fiction for young people; and to recognize authors in these disciplines.

News of the award reached Frye as he was on the road filming a television documentary based on his book Journey to the Wilderness: War, Memory, and a Southern Family’s Civil War Letters. Produced by Mike Letcher of Dragonfly Public Media, the program follows the footsteps of Gaillard’s ancestors who fought in the Civil War. In the film Gaillard reflects on the Civil War letters written by his great-great-grandfather and other family members, noting, “My own generation was perhaps the last that was raised on those stories of gallantry and courage. Oddly, mine was also one of the first to view the Civil War through the lens of civil rights.” The film is being produced in partnership with The Center for War and Memory at The University of South Alabama for public television.

In other news, Frye Gaillard has just put the final touches on his forthcoming memoir A Hard Rain: America in the 1960s, Our Decade of Hope and Innocence Lost. In this book, Gaillard gives us a deeply personal history, bringing his keen storyteller’s eye to this pivotal time in American life. A Hard Rain is due out from NewSouth Books in spring 2018. He is presently at work researching the life of Benjamin Turner for his first illustrated children’s book, a project he’s collaborating on with Marti Rosner. The Slave Who Went to Congress will be released by NewSouth Books in fall 2018.

Go South to Freedom is available from NewSouth Books or your favorite bookstore.

Who tells your story? Frye Gaillard talks about the role of historian for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016 by Lisa Harrison

Go South to Freedom by Frye GaillardIn an interview with SIBA’s Lady Banks’ Commonplace Book newsletter, author Frye Gaillard talks about the craft of historical novelist. Gaillard’s new book for young readers, Go South to Freedom, relates an “as told to” slavery story, shared with him by an elderly neighbor.

The award-winning journalist and prolific author told Lady Banks that journalism always involves “writing somebody else’s story” and requires treating the material with care and respect. He describes the additional research into historical events and the people mentioned in the tale that he did in preparing to write Go South to Freedom. The research helped educate him about the so-called “Black Seminoles” and about the community of free blacks that lived in Mobile, Alabama many years before the Civil War. In the end, as he told Lady Banks, the most important aspect of a true story is to keep it alive.

Go South to Freedom is available from NewSouth Books or your favorite bookstore.

Frye Gaillard remembers songwriter Guy Clark

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 by Lisa Harrison

Watermelon Wine: The Spirit of Country Music by Frye Gaillard

Award-winning historian Frye Gaillard was one of the first music writers to take note of Nashville songwriter Guy Clark, who died yesterday after a long illness. Frye remembers Clark in this tribute:

With sadness, I take a few moments to add my voice to what will soon be hundreds of others lamenting the passing of Guy Clark, one of Nashville’s finest songwriters. I still remember like it happened yesterday the night in 1975 when I wandered into the Exit Inn in Nashville and saw Guy Clark as an opening act. I had never heard of him. Neither had anybody else. But on this night he sang the songs from his soon-to-be released debut album, “Ol’ Number One,” and there’s never been a better record in the history of country/Americana music. I had the honor of writing about Guy Clark in my first book, Watermelon Wine: The Spirit of Country Music, trying to capture and explain the power of his lyrics — the exceptional empathy, sensitivity, and compassion they contained. Then and now, I understood that I was coming up short. But that was okay because soon enough people were listening to the songs themselves, and Clark became an Americana icon. Rest in peace, old friend. Thank you for those good conversations.

Watermelon Wine is available from NewSouth Books or your favorite bookstore.

Frye Gaillard named 2016 Eugene Current-Garcia Award winner

Friday, April 15th, 2016 by Lisa Harrison

Our good friend and esteemed author Frye Gaillard has just won the Eugene Current-Garcia Distinguished Scholar Award, which was presented at the Alabama Writers Symposium, held annually in Monroeville. The award recognizes “scholarly reflection and writing on literary topics.” Nominations for the award are made by recognized scholars in the field and reflect the respect of the winner’s peers in the academic community.

This award is the latest for Frye, one of the most respected journalist-historians working in the Southeast today. His previous honors include the Lillian Smith Award for non-fiction, the Clarence Cason Award for non-fiction, and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year Award.

Frye Gaillard wins Eugene Current-Garcia Distinguished Scholar Award

From left: Alisha Linam, Director of the Alabama Center for Literary Arts; Roger Chandler, President of Alabama Southern Community College; Al Head, Executive Director of the Alabama State Council on the Arts; Dr. Edward O. Wilson, 2016 Harper Lee Award Winner; Frye Gaillard, 2016 Eugene Current-Garcia Award Winner; Armand DeKeyser, Executive Director of the Alabama Humanities Foundation; and Jeanie Thompson, Executive Director of the Alabama Writers Forum.

Frye continues a limited tour presenting about his recently released book, Journey to the Wilderness: War, Memory, and a Southern Family’s Civil War Letters — a powerful work that is a personal inquiry into how the Civil War has shaped our Southern identity. He is one of NewSouth’s most in-demand speakers. A writer in residence at the University of South Alabama, Frye is the author of more than twenty books, including The Books That Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir and Watermelon Wine, both published by NewSouth, and Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement That Changed America.

Look for Frye’s first book for middle-schoolers, Go South to Freedom, coming this fall from NewSouth Books. The book retells a story he heard from an elderly friend, the great-grandson of slaves, that has never been published before.

Congratulations, Frye, and continued publishing success!

Journey to the Wilderness, The Books That Mattered, and Watermelon Wine are all available from NewSouth Books or your favorite bookstore.

Frye Gaillard on Sena Jeter Naslund and Geraldine Brooks, as mentioned on Diane Rehm Show

Friday, November 2nd, 2012 by Brian Seidman

The Books That Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir

NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show recently featured a “Reader’s Review” segment, in which a panel discussed Geraldine Brooks’s 2001 novel Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague. Included on that panel with Ms. Rehm was Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab’s Wife, who aside from discussing Ms. Brooks’s novel has another connection to the author — both women’s books were mentioned in Frye Gaillard’s recent memoir The Books That Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir, published by NewSouth Books.

The Books That Mattered is Gaillard’s “literary memoir,” tracing the books that influenced his own development and thinking, to the present. Among authors included in Books That Mattered are Harper Lee, Anne Frank, James Baldwin, Robert Penn Warren, and John Steinbeck, and also Sena Jeter Naslund and Geraldine Brooks.

Year of Wonders, based on true events, follows the townspeople of the village of Eyam in 1660s England; the villagers chose to quarantine themselves with the plague rather than flee and risk spreading disease to other towns. In The Books That Mattered, Gaillard praises Year of Wonders as “one of the first classics of the twenty-first century … aiming as high and reaching as deep as any I’ve read.” Specifically, Gaillard points to Brooks’s examination of unity and fear, and how the latter corrodes the former both in the novel and even in modern times of crisis.

During the “Reader’s Review” discussion, Naslund cited Books That Mattered, and also praised Brooks’s book as being “a significant exploration of religious belief, of community versus individual, of the relatedness of women to each other.”

Read a transcript of the full “Reader’s Review” panel on Geraldine Brooks’s Year of Wonders from the Diane Rehm Show website.

The Books That Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir is available in hardcover and all ebook formats direct from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite bookstore.

Frye Gaillard wins Clarence Cason Award

Monday, March 12th, 2012 by Noelle Matteson

On March 1, the University of Alabama’s journalism department presented NewSouth writer Frye Gaillard with the Clarence Cason Award. Gaillard is the third NewSouth author in a row to win the prize, following Rheta Grimsley Johnson and Clyde Bolton. The award honors nonfiction that contributes to a greater understanding of the South.

A native of Mobile, Alabama, Frye Gaillard has published numerous works, including Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement that Changed America, which won the Lillian Smith Award, and Watermelon Wine: The Spirit of Country Music, republished by NewSouth Books for its twenty-fifth anniversary. In 2002, he won the NAACP’s Humanitarian award for his writing on civil rights. Gaillard is currently writer in residence at the University of South Alabama.

At the awards ceremony, Gaillard shared a few words about eye-opening experiences during his career. One profound instance involved interviewing the father of a girl murdered in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham and discovering the father’s remarkable sense of forgiveness. Another memorable, but very different, moment occurred while writing the biography of a NASCAR driver, who surprised Gaillard with his passion for reading.

NewSouth will publish Gaillard’s The Books That Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir this fall. Watermelon Wine is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite retail or online bookseller. Gaillard is also a contributor to the collection American Crisis, Southern Solutions: From Where We Stand, Promise and Peril.

Gaillard and McLaughin pen new books, see continued success

Thursday, May 13th, 2010 by Andrew

With dozens of books published between them, it should come as no surprise that NewSouth authors Frye Gaillard and Laughlin McDonald are finding success with their newest books, each published by respected university presses.

The University of Alabama Press recently published acclaimed author and journalist Frye Gaillard’s newest book Alabama Civil Rights Trail: An Illustrated Guide to the Cradle of Freedom.

Gaillard has written over a dozen books on southern culture and history, including the NewSouth published Watermelon Wine: The Spirit of Country Music. He’s also contributed essays to NewSouth’s American Crisis, Southern Solutions: From Where We Stand, Promise and Peril.

Laughlin McDonald is the director of the Voting Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union and also a contributing author to NewSouth’s Where We Stand: Voices of Southern Dissent as well as American Crisis, Southern Solutions. The University of Oklahoma press recently published his new book American Indians and the Fight for Equal Voting Rights, an in-depth study of Indian voting rights which recounts the extraordinary progress American Indians have made.

Congratulations Frye and Laughlin.