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A Deeper South: The Beauty, Mystery, and Sorrow of the Southern Road

A Deeper South: The Beauty, Mystery, and Sorrow of the Southern Road

By Pete CandlerPublisher: The University of South Carolina PressISBN: 9781643364797Genre: Southern History, TraveloguePrice: 27.99

The author's road trips through the American South lead to a personal confrontation with history.

In A Deeper South: The Beauty, Mystery, and Sorrow of the Southern Road, Pete Candler offers a travel narrative drawn from twenty-five years of road-tripping through the backroads of the American South. Featuring Candler's own photography, the book taps into the public imagination and the process of both remembering and forgetting that define our collective memory of place. Candler, who belongs to one of Georgia's most recognizable families, confronts the uncomfortable truths of his own ancestors' roles in the South's legacy of white supremacy with a masterful mix of authority and a humbling sense that his own journey of unforgetting and recovering has only just begun.

With the wit of a Southern storyteller and the eye of a photographer, Candler takes the reader on a journey that spans two continents, six states, and countless miles of asphalt. Along the way, we meet the "galaxy's no. 1 Elvis fan," stop to ponder roadside markers and small-town monuments, and contemplate what makes the South both distinct from, and emblematic of, the nation of which it is a part. The stories that he uncovers can only be found off the beaten path, away from the curated tourist experiences and mass culture located near the interstate exit ramp. A Deeper South is about Candler's journeys to see the South and understand it, and he invites us to ride along.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Pete Candler is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker whose work has appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, Bitter Southerner, Washington Post, and elsewhere. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina.


A righteous plumbing of suppressed family histories, a vigorous exorcism of the myths and willful ignorance that trouble the land of his birth, A Deeper South blazes a path through the nostalgia thicket for readers who want to make sense of their inheritances. Candler writes with indignation and empathy, showing us a better way to see the South so that we can better love any place we call home.

John T. Edge, author of The Potlikker Papers and host of TrueSouth