If by some chance you don't already know the
highway-cleaning witches, the sign of the Goo-Goo Cluster, or General
Beauregard Lee the Georgia groundhog, then you should get to know Nan
For the past decade, listeners of WHQR-FM, the NPR
affiliate in Wilmington, NC, have heard Graham regale them with stories
of the South and Southerners, subjects she knows as well as anyone.
Best-selling author Pat Conroy-no slouch himself at navigating the
cultural byways of Dixie-said Graham "is so relentlessly Southern she
makes me feel that I was born in Minnesota." Nan Graham's second
collection of humorous essays, In a Magnolia Minute, introduces
her notes and observations to those unfortunates who live outside the
WHQR listening area.
"I am always on the lookout for loony stories,
nutty characters, and unique aspects of Southern life," says Graham.
She's found them. From the fellow who eats Vicks VapoRub for dessert to
her mother's refusal to acknowledge time zones, Graham's anecdotes
display a keen eye and a finely tuned ear for the absurd and the
From the deepest Delta to Dreamland Barbeque, from
the Florida Panhandle to the Research Triangle, In a Magnolia Minute,
along with Graham's first collection of essays, Turn South at the
Next Magnolia, offers a tour of the South unlike any you will find
in a travel guide. Along the way, Graham touches on subjects near the
heart of any native (and maybe even those "from somewhere else"), such
as family and growing up (and older), in the South. Her books are essential field
guides for all, whether newcomer or native, giving readers a "real sense
of who and what we are."