State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love

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Ada Rogers
University of South Carolina Press, 2013 - History - 223 pages
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In State of the Heart, Ada Rogers has crafted an artful love letter to our state, with contributions from a host of nationally and regionally recognized writers who've written short essays on the South Carolina places that they cherish. This anthology provides a multifaceted historical and personal view of the Palmetto State.
Thematically organized, this collection offers a geographic and emotional scope that is as diverse as its contributors. Sportswriters describe beloved arenas; historians reflect on church ruins and forts. A playwright recalls the magic of her first theater experience; a food writer revels in a coastal joint that serves fresh oysters. Backyards, front porches, a small library at a children's home, the drama and camaraderie of building the Savannah River Site, and places that are gone except in the memories of the writers who loved them--these are just a few of the locales covered, all showing how South Carolina has changed and inspired people in a variety of ways.
State of the Heart evokes a sense of history and timelessness by bringing together heartfelt responses to South Carolina locales rooted in memory, drawing on reflection, inspiration, and love. The anthology reveals a state that is more than a playground for tourists; it's a state of human hiding places that echo in the hearts of its literary citizens. Though presented as a book about place, the collection is ultimately about our shared connections to one another, to a complex common past, and to ongoing efforts to frame and build a future of promise and possibility.

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About the author (2013)

Ada Rogers is a writer and editor whose feature journalism has won national and regional awards. She has worked in newspapers, television, and magazines, and with Tim Driggers as coauthors of Stop Where the Parking Lot's Full, a guidebook to South Carolina's favorite restaurants. She lives in Columbia.

Pat Conroy is the pen name of Donald Patrick Conroy, who was born in Atlanta, Georgia on October 26, 1945. He received a B.A. in English from The Citadel in 1967. After teaching high school at his alma mater, he accepted a job teaching disadvantaged black children in a two-room schoolhouse on Daufuskie Island off the South Carolina coast. Many of the children were illiterate, unable even to write their own names. He taught them using oral history and geography lessons. His experience on Daufuskie Island formed the basis for his first successful memoir, The Water Is Wide, which won the Anisfield-Wolf Award from the Cleveland Foundation and was made into the movie Conrack starring Jon Voight in 1976. His novels include Beach Music and South of Broad. Several of his novels were adapted into movies including The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, and The Prince of Tides. He also wrote several works of non-fiction including The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes and Stories of My Life, My Reading Life, and The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son. He died of pancreatic cancer on March 4, 2016 at the age of 70.

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