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Archive for the 'Teddy’s Child' Category

Historian Virginia Van der Veer Hamilton remembered by Leah Rawls Atkins

Thursday, April 21st, 2016 by Lisa Harrison

Teddy's Child by Virginia Van der Veer Hamilton

Alabama lost one of its most distinguished historians with the death of Virginia Van der Veer Hamilton. NewSouth Books was proud to have published the final memoir of this pioneering journalist and educator, Teddy’s Child: Growing Up in the Anxious Southern Gentry Between the Great Wars. Dr. Hamilton’s life was as colorful and inspiring as any history she taught. Distinguished historian Leah Rawls Atkins remembered the influential professor in a piece for Alabama NewsCenter, calling Dr. Hamilton one of the “finest teachers and role models for young women interested in studying history.”

Dr. Atkins lists the remarkable details of Hamilton’s career: Associated Press correspondent in Washington, D.C. during World War II, Birmingham News reporter, history professor at Birmingham-Southern, the University of Montevallo, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of Alabama, author of numerous books of history and memoir. She focuses on Hamilton’s legacy as a pioneer — the second woman to earn a PhD in history from the University of Alabama — and a historian who presented a unique take on Alabama history in her innovative text Alabama: A History, which recounts the stories of sociological groups who most impacted the state.

Dr. Atkins notes: “Hamilton changed the way history was taught in Alabama. . . . She advocated for the equality of women in history, and capped her career directing a departmental faculty at UAB that was roughly half male and half female — more closely matching the true ratio of men and women in the population. Young women in Alabama in 2016 may not realize who influenced the greater professional equality they now enjoy. Virginia Van deer Hamilton played a large role in that history.”

A fitting tribute to a remarkable woman. We mourn her passing but celebrate her legacy.

Teddy’s Child is available from NewSouth Books.

Teddy’s Child Lauded by Alabama Press

Friday, November 6th, 2009 by Lisa Harrison

Teddy’s Child: Growing Up in the Anxious Southern Gentry between the Great Wars, by Dr. Virginia Hamilton, has received sterling reviews from First Draft magazine, the Mobile Press-Register, and the Birmingham News. Dr. Hamilton’s book explores the deep roots of family and place in her coming-of-age memoir set in Birmingham, Alabama, in the period between World Wars I and II. She considers the shadows of both the genteel poverty her family fell into during the Great Depression, and of the inescapable family ailment of mental depression and what were then called nervous disorders.

FromĀ First Draft:

Teddy’s Child: Growing Up in the Anxious Southern Gentry Between the Great Wars is about the failures and accomplishments of the author’s eccentric family, but the themes extend beyond Hamilton’s family to comment on the struggles of humanity: the dreams individuals reach to possess and the nobility, and at times futility, of that effort.

From the Press-Register:

One of the fascinating things about this book is how readers will identify with some things and marvel at others. It encourages us all to try to assemble and present our childhood memories to younger family members. Perhaps we won’t come close to Virginia Hamilton’s style, but we will be animated by it as we try.

From the Birmingham News:

Southern fiction writers have traditionally created eccentric characters who are intriguing to readers, and Southerners have reputations for embracing local characters who are a bit batty. Capote, O’Connor and Faulkner come to mind. Every good Southern story and town has at least one such character. This book has several.

For anyone who has memories of the years “between the Great Wars” (in Birmingham or elsewhere) or for those who wish to know more about a simpler time of ‘possum hunts, summer trips without interstate highways, home-produced operas and musicals, a time when homemade beaten biscuits and croquettes were staples, this memoir, which includes numerous family photographs, will take you there.

Teddy’s Child is available from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online retailer.

And a special envelope we did receive: Harper Lee loves Teddy’s Child

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 by Suzanne La Rosa

NewSouth received a nice note from Harper Lee enthusing about publication of Virginia Van Der Veer Hamilton’s new memoir, Teddy’s Child: Growing Up in the Anxious Southern Gentry Between the Great Wars. Says Ms. Lee to Dr. Hamilton: “It’s beautiful. I loved your book!”

At NewSouth Books, we’re inclined to agree with Ms. Lee’s assessment of Virginia Hamilton’s sweeping family saga. In her coming-of-age memoir set in Birmingham, Alabama, in the period between World Wars I and II, respected scholar Virginia Hamilton explores the deep roots of family and place. As a historian, Hamilton has long been admired for her prose style and the vigor of her research. Here she brings her talents to the chronicle of her own lineage and her discoveries of the commonalities that transcend generations. Supplemented by images of family memorabilia, Teddy’s Child reveals the complex structure of race, class, and gender in a Deep South city during the 1920s and 1930s.

Teddy’s Child is available from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online retailer.