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Somebody Told Me, Somebody Told Me, 0817310274, 0-8173-1027-4, 978-0-8173-1027-1, 9780817310271,

Somebody Told Me
The Newspaper Stories of Rick Bragg
by Rick Bragg

Trade Cloth
2000. 288 pp.
978-0-8173-1027-1
Price:  $39.95 s

Over the past twenty years, writer Rick Bragg has earned
legions of fans with his award-winning newspaper stories and with his critically
aclaimed memoir All Over but the Shoutin'. His unique stroytelling
talent and his sympathy for the day-to-day struggles of everyday people
set him apart from journalists who focus on political intrigue and the
foibles of the rich and famous.

This collection showcases Bragg's talent for turning seemingly
ordinary situations into extraordinary stories by bringing together more
than sixty of his most recent feature articles, most of them written for
the New York Times. Bragg explores such questions as: What happens to someone
released from prison for a crime he didn't commit? Who takes care of the
graves of poor people? What keeps an elderly woman from selling her land
for a tidy profit? Bragg's curiosity often leads him to society's margins,
where he wins the confidence of those who have good reason to mistrust
others.

Bragg has reported on some of the most newsworthy tragedies
in the nation, and his unfolding coverage of events such as the Oklahoma
City bombing and the Susan Smith child murders is included here. Once again,
though, his special ability to connect with people allows him accesss and
perspectives that many other reporters do not achieve.

Whether he's profiling the sheriff who broke the Smith
case or relatring the efforts of Alabama churchgoers to understand a Sunday
morning tornado strike, Bragg writes with genuine compassion and sentiment
but without being sensationalist. He looks where other's don't and gets
behind the headlines to the people standing there stunned and often, until
he finds them, voiceless. When asked how he came up with his remarkable
stories, Bragg has his answer down pat: "Somebody told me."

 

 


Rick Bragg, Miami bureau chief for the New York Times, won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing for his "elegantly written stories about contemporary America." He has also written for the Los Angeles Times, the St. Petersburg Times, and the Birmingham News, and he is the recipient of the American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award. His 1997 memoir, All Over but the Shoutin', recounts his hardscrabble youth in Alabama.

 


"Rick Bragg's newspaper work is quite simply magic. He's one of the vital voices in contemporary American writing. Although the pieces in this splendid anthology are rooted in journalism, their rueful and profoundly felt insights elevate them to literature. His prose is clean, flexible, incisive, and his words and hard-earned reportage lead the reader time and again to elemental truths. These pieces, along with his classicmemoir, All Over but the Shoutin', help tell us who we are as Southerners and Americans."
—Willie Morris

2000 SIBA Book Awards, sponsored by Southeast Booksellers Association

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