Curley is a novel based on the life of Russell Norris, a Cherokee Indian from the Qualla Boundary reservation in Western North Carolina. After Russell and his family move from the reservation to Cramerton, North Carolina, a textile mill town, Russell's father takes a job as a foreman in the Cramer Cotton Mill. When Russell is only fifteen-years-old, his father dies, leaving the responsibility of raising and supporting the family on Russell's young shoulders. Determined not to die in the same mill as his father, Russell packs his guitar and hits the road, supporting his mother and four brothers by playing music throughout the southeastern United States. Traveling and working in the Depression-era south, Russell is forced to confront racism and his own battle with alcoholism. Ultimately, this is a story of courage, hope, and redemption.
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Abernathy ain't answered began Big Joe boys breath called Carter Family Cherokee Chiltos cigarette close Cora Cramerton Curley and Ray Curley felt Curley looked Curley saw Curley thought Curley's Daddy damn Don Tyson door Dora dreams Eunice Eunice's eyes face father feel frybread Gastonia Glenn Miller goddamn going gonna Grandpa guitar hand head hear heard hell husband Indian kitchen knew laughed Little Reed Lorenzo Mack's Michael Minnie Minnie's Molly mother never night Norris Brothers play pulled Qualla Qualla Boundary Ray's Rodney Rodney's Runningwolf Russell seemed Shifty shit silence smiled someone sorry sound stared stood stopped sure Swayney talk tears tell Thank things told tonight took Traveling Band tried trying turned Uncle Mack voice wait walked wanna watched WBTM wife woman wondered worry ya'll Yeah young