Author’s work ‘resounds with laughter, tears and joy of Southern life’

By H.M. Cauley (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) (MCT Information Services)  Categorize him…

Georgia (Jul 3, 2012) — By H.M. Cauley


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(The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(MCT Information Services) 

Categorize him as a classic Southern writer. Call him a keen observer of life in Georgia. But don’t confuse Ferrol Sams with writers who revel in the “moonlight and magnolias” of the Old South.

“When my first book was published, a lady wrote to tell me she was so glad that there was finally something between ‘Tobacco Road’ and ‘Gone With the Wind,’” said Sams, whose three novels, short story collections and personal reminiscences draw deeply on the roots of his youth, growing up on a cotton farm in Fayette County. “I knew there was a place for those stories because nobody was chronicling them. I don’t really regard myself as an iconic Southern writer, but I guess I am. I just write about what I know.” 

Since his first book, “Run With the Horsemen,” was published in 1982, the Fayetteville resident, now 89, has been applauded for his use of language, humor and sense of place.

Among his awards are a 2007 induction into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame and the 1991 Townsend Prize for fiction.

On June 16, the Georgia Writers Association added a lifetime achievement award to Sams’ honor roll. (Though family obligations kept him from attending, a video interview was shown.) The presentation was part of the organization’s 48th annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards that recognize outstanding works by resident authors published in 2011.

“Sams has produced a solid body of work that resounds with the laughter, tears and joy of Southern life,” said Margaret Walters, the association’s executive director and a professor of English at Kennesaw State University. “He clearly and accurately and believably captures the voices of all his characters. His stories capture the times and places of the South over the past six decades.” 


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