About the book:
In 1997, Oxford, Mississippi sought to build a statue to honor the 100th birthday of native Nobel laureate, William Faulkner. In this funny and heartfelt memoir, Thacker Mountain Radio Hour host Jim Dees, chronicles the year-long civic contretemps that erupted over a magnolia tree that was cut down to make room for the sculpture. The same year, Oxford became embroiled in a “trees versus development” dispute that saw citizens arrested for blocking bulldozers. Meanwhile, the University of Mississippi pursued plans to discourage use of the Confederate flag, the song “Dixie” and the Col. Rebel mascot setting off protests and death threats. Dees brings his signature wit and insight that his radio listeners enjoy to the page to describe these pivotal events and includes interviews with James Meredith, Shelby Foote, Willie Morris, Myrlie Evers and… Willie Nelson.
Praise for The Statue and the Fury:
“The Statue and the Fury reads like a fever-dream. The writing of Jim Dees turns out to be just as gonzo as his shirts, and that’s saying a lot. For those of us who wish we could live year-round in Oxford, this wild book is as close as you can get without having to pay property taxes.”
Harrison Scott Key, Author of The World’s Largest Man
Winner of the Thurber Prize in American Humor
“At times profound, at times deeply insightful and often hilarious, Jim Dees’ The Statue and the Fury is a loving look at small-town life, journalism and politics. I’ve been a fan of Dees’ writing for years, and this is the book I’ve been waiting for.”
Tom Franklin, Edgar Award-winning author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
“This book may be the best thing I’ve read out of Mississippi in a long while. Dees knows where the bodies are buried and takes great glee in exhuming them. Throw in his deadpan humor, and you have a rollicking, informed and erudite read about everything from James Brown to the Hale-Bopp comet.”
Rheta Grimsley Johnson, syndicated columnist and Pulitzer Prize finalist
About the author:
Jim Dees’ The Statue and the Fury was awarded the Bronze Award for Best Non-Fiction in the South by the Independent Publishers Book Awards. The book was nominated for “Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year” by the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. Dees is also the author of Lies and Other Truths: Rants, Raves, Low-Lifes and Highballs and the editor of They Write Among Us: New Stories and Essays From the Best of Oxford Writers. Since 2000, he has been the host of The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour, a music and literature program heard weekly on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and Alabama Public Radio.