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Conversations with Shelby Foote

Edited by William C. Carter

269 pp.

0878053867 (9780878053865)
Paper $25.00D

Paper, $25.00

Shelby Foote once said that he did not know of anything he had learned about the writing of novels that couldn't also be applied to the writing of history. In his development, the merging of these special talents has made Foote almost unique in the history of American literature, for few other great modern authors have proved to be master storytellers in both fiction and historical narrative.

In Conversations with Shelby Foote, this novelist-historian expresses penetrating and often humorous remarks about major modern writers as well as about the classical writers of fiction, plays, poetry, and historical narrative. In one interview Foote explains how Homer's Iliad and Proust's Remembrance of Things Past were his chief models for writing his history of the Civil War.

Foote recounts also what it was like to grow up in a small Mississippi town in the first half of the twentieth century and tells how his observations of African Americans and whites of all classes influenced his fiction and history writing.

These eighteen interviews spanning thirty-seven years not only detail Shelby Foote's exploration of southern history, race relations, and the role of literature in the formation and preservation of a culture but also reveal his evolution into a great narrative artist.

269 pp.