© Rachel Smook
Frye Galliard is the award-winning author of more than twenty books, including Watermelon Wine: The Spirit of Country Music, Journey to the Wilderness: War, Memory, and a Southern Family’s Civil War Letters, The Books That Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir, and Go South to Freedom. He is the winner of the Lillian Smith Award, the Clarence Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing, the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year Award, and the 2016 Eugene Current-Garcia Award for Distinction in Literary Scholarship.
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Go South to Freedom
More than twenty years ago, Robert Croshon, an elderly friend of Frye Gaillard, recounted the story of Croshon’s ancestor, Gilbert Fields, an African-born slave from Georgia who led his family on a daring flight to freedom. According to the story, Fields and his family ran away one stormy night, intending to travel north under cover of darkness. But clouds obscured the stars, and when morning came Fields and the others discovered they had been running south instead. They had no choice but to keep going, seeking sanctuary with the Seminole Indians of Florida and later a community of free blacks in Mobile, AL.
In Go South to Freedom, Gaillard expands this oral history into a novel for young readers, weaving the story of Gilbert Fields through the nearly forgotten history of the Seminoles and their alliance with runaway slaves; as Gaillard’s narrative makes clear, the Seminole Wars of the 1830s, in which Indians fought side by side with former slaves, represent the largest slave uprising in American history. Beautifully illustrated by Anne Kent Rush, Go South to Freedom is a gripping story for readers of any age.
“An informative and well-told story…” - Kirkus
Books That Mattered: A Reader's Memoir
Frye Gaillard’s latest book from NewSouth Books offers a reader’s tribute to the writings that enriched and altered his life. In a series of carefully crafted, often deeply personal essays, Gaillard blends memoir, history and critical analysis to explore the works of Harper Lee, Anne Frank, James Baldwin, Robert Penn Warren, John Steinbeck, and many others. As this heartfelt reminiscence makes clear, the books that chose Frye Gaillard shaped him like an extended family. Reading The Books That Mattered will make you study your own shelves to find clues into your own literary heart.
“An exuberantly written account of one writer’s leap toward understanding life’s intersection with literature.” - Kirkus Reviews
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