30th out of 79 books — 8 voters
Lanterns on the Levee
Born and raised in Greenville, Mississippi, within the shelter of old traditions, aristocratic in the best sense, William Alexander Percy in his lifetime (1885–1942) was brought face to face with the convulsions of a changing world. Lanterns on the Levee is his memorial to the South of his youth and young manhood. In describing life in the Mississippi Delta, Percy bridges...more
Hardcover, 348 pages
Published July 1st 1984 by Louisiana State University Press
(first published 1984)
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Oxford American: The Best Southern Nonfiction of All Time
Book Riot's 100 Must-Read Works of Southern Literature
87th out of 100 books — 7 voters
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(showing 1-30 of 145)
A fine elegiac piece by a one of the last of his class... A memoir of growing up in the Mississippi as a member of a dying planter class--- by a scion of a liberal Southern family whose biography (poet, planter, decorated combat soldier, sometime lawyer, traveler, admirer of beautiful boys) is worth a novel and and a film...
Though rationalized as consistent with the era in which he grew up, this memoir is notable for the paternalism toward African-Americans and outright racism presented as sociological insights. Sadly, the views expressed by Percy are still pervasive in the South.
William Alexander Percy was the author of four books of poetry, and he practiced law in Greenville, Mississippi, until his death, one year after the publication of his autobiography. Awarded the Croix de Guerre with gold star for his service in World War I, he also was one of the leaders in the succesful 1922 fight against the Ku Klux Klan in Greenville and headed the local Red Cross unit during t...moreMore about William Alexander Percy...