Review: The Provincials

This is a book I had been saving for years for the right time to read it and this summer offered the right time.

One curse of English literature and following that track through higher education is that sometimes courses overlap and you never get a chance to read a good variation of what is out there.  You tend to come across a lot of the same works in different contexts.  I read a lot of Faulkner and thereby have helped many clients work through his poetic language and writings. Faulkner becomes synonymous with the American South.

Eli Evans, who wrote this book, came to a local university years ago.  I actually bought a copy of the book, something I rarely do as I rely on the local library for new books, I was so enthralled to meet someone who didn’t mention Faulkner.

Mr. Evans writes about his childhood and growing up in Durham, North Carolina.  There is a brutal honesty in his writing and there is no glossing over.  Mr. Evans intertwines his personal family history with the history of Durham and with the American South.  There aren’t too many books that have their first chapter titled “Tobacco Town Jews” and where the history of cigarettes and cigarette rolling can actually be quite interesting.

10/10 for making your mind bloom.  I wish I had read this sooner.


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