Panama (spwebdesign) wrote,

Eddy L. Harris

I just did a search on Amazon for "Eddy L. Harris," to see if he'd published anything new.

What I discovered shocked me. Not only is there nothing new, but everyone of his title's is listed as out of print. I'm flabbergasted. I can't be the only one who connected deeply with Harris' work, can I? His is one of the most vibrant, exciting, thought-provoking voices in contemporary American letters, yet I feel as if no one has discovered him.

My first encounter with Harris' prose was Mississippi Solo, wherein he describes his experiences canoing from the source to the mouth of the Mississippi. It depicts both an inner and outward journey, punctuated by physical crises and spiritual revelations. His account calls to mind those of Mark Twain and Frances Trollope.

I have also read South of Haunted Dreams, in which Harris, a Northerner, buys a motorcycle and travels throughout the South seeking to learn about himself and his cultural "roots." In a book that resonates strongly of W.E.B. Dubois' The Souls of Black Folk, some of his conclusions may surprise you and will open your eyes.

Harris has written two other books I have not yet read. Native Stranger recounts his travels into the heart of Africa, and Still Life in Harlem addresses his return as an adult to the place where he spent his early childhood. Both books have garnered high praise.

If you happen to run across anything by Eddy L. Harris, I urge you to read it. If any locals are interested, I can lend out my copies of Mississippi Solo and South of Haunted Dreams. Harris is an important author and deserves to be read.

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