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April 26 , 2011

State of the Heart

South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love, Volume 2


South Carolina is a state of inspiration as well as recreation. Through its natural beauty, storied heritage, and curious character, the Palmetto State finds its way into the hearts and imaginations of every native, resident, and guest to set foot on its 32,000 square miles of soil. Continuing the format of the popular original, this second volume of State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love celebrates and commemorates the connections that the accomplished contributors have found in the well-known and far-flung locations most dear to them. With companionable charm and storytellers’ spirits, editor Aïda Rogers and the thirty-six contributors invite you to amble across South Carolina with them for a chance to see the state as they have come to know it. For writers beloved places can captivate, teach, comfort, and occasionally haunt. In this collection contributors reflect on their hometowns, the rivers and roads that marked their lives’ journeys, and the maligned neighborhoods they transformed just by living and working in them. Family beach vacations, churches and churchyards, athletic arenas modest and grand, a mountain vista, a quiet pond, a city park, an old-time produce market, Lake Murray, Brookgreen Gardens—these are just a sampling of the nearly three dozen private and public places favored by this diverse group of writers of fiction, memoir, poetry, history, journalism, and more. Photographs, artwork, verse, and even a few recipes accompany the essays, bringing readers further into sharing the writers’ experiences. While State of the Heart is rooted in the landscape of South Carolina, readers from anywhere will relate to its universal themes of growing up and growing old, recognition of past mistakes, returned-to faith, the closeness of family and friends, honoring those who came before, and setting our collective sights on the promise of the future for cherished people and places. Marjory Wentworth, South Carolina’s poet laureate, provides the foreword to this collection, which includes her poem “One River, One Boat.”
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