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Farewell, I'm Bound to Leave You: Stories
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Farewell, I'm Bound to Leave You: Stories

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  244 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Farewell, I'm Bound to Leave You is rich with the music of the Southern mountains and the stories of their people. Jess Kirkman's grandmother is dying, and Jess remembers the tales she and his mother have passed down to him--a chorus of women's voices that sing and share and celebrate the common song of life.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 15th 1997 by Picador (first published 1996)
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I had to work hard to find my way into this book, but it was well worth the initial effort. Once I got through the first couple of sections, I was fully immersed in this book's world. The voices are lovely and authentic, and the language is so gorgeous that I underlined like crazy before finally giving up and deciding to just reread the whole thing. If you love language and appreciate vivid description and attention to detail, give this book a try. It isn't a "page-turner," but a rich, sweet thi ...more
I loved the writing style of the author. Very inspiring use of words to describe various settings and feelings.
The stories, as told to a boy entering adolescence, by his mother, were about people and places that she remembered from her youth. I enjoyed the reading for the first half or so of the book, but started to lose interest by the time I was hit the last few chapters.
I will keep this book as a solid reference for good writing that flows beautifully :)
I think my favorite book I've ever read - and Fred Chappell has leapt over Alice Munro and William Trevor as my favorite authors. Maybe 4 or 5 times in my life have I read a book that I just felt plain lucky to have read, this is one of those books. I now have checked out every Fred Chappell novel/short story collection available in the state of Massachusetts and they are scattered about my house. Please, please, please read this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sara Paris
This is a book so beautifully written you want to read it out loud - preferably to someone.

If you have favorite books that you read and read again throughout your lifetime, this is a likely candidate, especially if you value southern writers and characters.

This book along with Chappell's Look Back All the Green Valley, I Am One of You Forever,and Brighten the Corner Where You Are, is a book I read and re-read.
AdultFiction Teton County Library
TCL Call Number: F Chappell
Mary's rating: 4 stars

This character-driven novel takes place in the early 20th century in Appalachia. It has an interesting perspective twist, with a young man's take on local women's stories he learns through the gossip of his mother and grandmother. Each chapter represents a different kind of woman based on their skillsets or attributes.
Magical collection of stories a mother and grandmother tell to a boy and he remembers as the grandmother is dying. Southern story telling at its best with the phrasing of a poet.

"Scarlet as beets ons white dinner plate."

"The smell of apples rose about us like the strains of ancient music. "
Beth Withers
This novel is actually a series of short stories tied together by a grandmother's death and a grandson's and daughter's memories. The stories are about simple people who are much more complex than they seem. This is an enjoyable read, one that brought back fond memories for me.
I really enjoyed this book. Each chapter is like it's own short story all related by place and time and narration by one of the two main characters. Chappell uses poetic language beautifully and the characters and setting really came alive for me.
At first I thought this book was too simplistic, but I started to enjoy the colloquial speech and the interesting characters. I also liked the moral theme of how families are important and doing good is important.
Stephanie Ricker
I fell in love with Fred Chappell during Southern American Lit class at college, and I was reassured to discover I’m still in love. I ambled through Farewell, I’m Bound to Leave You (another library sale find) and savored every word. The book is a collection of shorter stories, all told by the family members of the narrator, and each one is captivating. Some people classify Chappell’s works as magical realism. I don’t completely agree with that (and for the record, neither does Chappell)–I despi ...more
I am a sucker for Southern lit, and these stories were delicious to read. Authentic voice and bold, fun, touching characters, plus an unexpected dose of an almost supernatural element you can only find within family. So enjoyable.
Teresa Miller
A mother, Annie, lies dying, attended to by her daughter Cora. Cora's son Jess retells the stories of women Annie and Cora have known in their lives...some sad, some funny, some strong, but all remarkable.
Keri Gaylord
Music, Southern Appalachia and Strong Women Storytellers. A trinity of interesting.
This book is definitely worth more than three stars. It is a beautifully written collection of stories. It takes you away completely to another time and place. Each chapter being it's own story, it's an excellent choice for a book to stick in your bag for reading while you wait. The reason I gave it only three stars is because pure and simple, it's not my favorite subject to read about. But if you enjoy stories about Appalachia, or are in the mood for some lovely writing, it's worth checking out ...more
Jenny Lane
magical, beautiful , funny, of the most touching and entertaining books i have ever read, by one of my favorite authors. a collection of stories about different mountain women and families, as told to a young boy by his mother and grandmother. a joyful celebration of appalachia and specifically western north carolina, my heart and home. i will read this book again and again and i'm sure will finish with tears in my eyes each time. love.
A strange read. The stories are often odd; some are touching or humorous. The language is often poetic, which is kind of fun. Although this was an interesting book, it often feels like sitting in on a gossip session. Also, the way it is written is disjointed without a really continuous, captivating story, making it easy to set down and walk away from for extended periods.
Linda Searby
My son had this book in his he had to read in his master's program in a course about Southern Literature. This is great insight into the lives of rural southerners....oral history folk lore with vivid character descriptions and rare insight into this culture. Each chapter is a vignette that can almost stand alone. Colorful!
Good goddamn is this an awesome book. I love stories! About country folk! I think this even takes place in Tennessee, but for some reason, when I read it, it felt like I was reading about Germany. Still don't know why. This is the book equivalent of a bowl of warm stew and crusty bread. Delicious and comfy.
Dec 21, 2009 Rachel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Rachel by: Carol Younker
Shelves: fol-2009
Delightful book...each chapter is like a short story describing a specific woman...writing style is wonderful...very easy to picture the setting and the people being described...setting is the South.

Just loved this entire book...felt like I was right there in the mountains of NC.
this novel is more like a series of short stories, told to a boy by his mother and grandmother about the women of the North Carolina mountains. the author Fred Chappell, is also a poet and the prose is what reviewers call lyrical or luminous. it's a lovely, loving book.

Remember those old stories your grandmother used to tell you about days gone by? A delightful read about an assortment of connected people in an Appalachian community. Chappell never disappoints.
A new author to me and now one of my favorites. Lovely, lilting, often humorous Southern stories, told as memories while a grandmother is dying. Loved every page.
If you really like a good story, this book offers that with tales such as the Shooting Woman, the Figuring Woman, and the Madwoman. A great find at the WPL book sale!
A really really beautiful book. Intertwined tales of Appalachian families that is so well written. I feel all dazed and dreamy after finishing this one.
I'm not sure why this author is not more well known. This was an excellent, well-written, lovely novel...chapters read very much like short stories.
I think I might have read this one already, but I need to find out. :) (If it is the one I've already read, then it is a good read!)
Virginia Silver
This is a beautiful piece of
Fabulous storytelling!
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Fred Davis Chappell retired after 40 years as an English professor at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He was the Poet Laureate of North Carolina from 1997-2002. He attended Duke University.

His 1968 novel Dagon, which was named the Best Foreign Book of the Year by the Academie Française, is a recasting of a Cthulhu Mythos horror story as a psychologically realistic Southern Gothic.

His l
More about Fred Chappell...
I Am One of You Forever Brighten the Corner Where You Are Look Back All the Green Valley Dagon More Shapes Than One: A Book of Stories

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