NC Literary Hall of Fame



Cracker Gothic: A Florida Woman's Memoir by Wanda Suttle Duncan

Library Partners Press
$20.00, hardcover / $10.00, paperback / $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1618460714
March, 2019
Nonfiction: Memoir
Available from your local bookstore or

"In Cracker Gothic, Wanda Duncan writes about the intersections between family and place with precision, wit, and loving detail. Capturing moments that are at times humorous and at other times heartbreaking, Duncan makes spending time in the Florida swamp an unexpected, lyrical pleasure."
—Aimee Mepham, author of Raving Ones

"Wanda Duncan says she's a Cracker—a rural Southerner who doesn't quite know her manners, a trash talker, a teller of stories. To read this tough, lyrical, funny book is to feel as Cracker Wanda does: whacked into terrain that calls into question what you thought you'd answered, but still electrifies your curiosity."
—Eric Wilson, author of Against Happiness

Wanda Duncan is a seventh generation Florida Cracker who left her small rural hometown behind at age eighteen. When she returns to care for her aging mother, she rediscovers the beauty of a quiet, riverfront town with brick streets, ancient live oaks, and decaying Victorian homes. In the midst of caring for her mother, Wanda's husband commits suicide. That's when the town becomes her refuge as a hidden, healing magic emerges from the sand and moss and sulfur water. Wanda's essays of her Cracker heritage and of rural Florida in the wenty-first century provide a glimpse of an old and authentic Florida that most tourists miss. Her stories of caring for an aging parent while dealing with personal grief speak to how place can heal a heart, and will resonate with others on this journey.

Wanda Duncan earned her Bachelor’s degree at Catawba College in Salisbury and her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree at Wake Forest University, where her academic focus was on Southern literature and creative nonfiction. She has been a contributing writer to The Digital Forsyth Project, Early American Music Magazine, Winston-Salem Monthly Magazine and Our State, the state magazine for North Carolina. She was the 2018 Library Partners Press David Coates Nonfiction Award Winner. Cracker Gothic: A Florida Woman’s Memoir is her first book.

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